Palmerston Market Stall 16

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Friends of Mitchell Creek

News Update – 26 April 2011

Contact: Alderman Sue McKinnon - – 0434348950.

Our blog –

Palmerston Market Stall 16

Palmerston Markets start up on Friday April 29, 2011, - and we will have a Friends of Mitchell Creek stall each week between 5pm – 8pm. The stall is located on the road between the Palmerston Library and the Recreation Centre next to the NT Mobile Police Station. BE THERE!

Rapid Creek Business Village, Shop No 23

We are now based at the Rapid Creek Markets each Sunday, from 9.30am to 1pm in the new community shop-front with the Planning Action Network Inc., (PLan)

It’s a great location to network and to increase community awareness about our activities.


Mitchell Creek downstream view from the bridge over Lambrick Ave., Zuccoli 2011

Land for Wildlife Program – Gunn:

Catherine Orme, Wildlife Program Co-ordinator, Greening Australia (NT) explained the possibilities of this volunteer based program to me in February. The Program supports the lease and management of land for a wildlife habitat. We discussed sites via maps and a walk of Mitchell Creek Catchment. Subject to agreement by the NT Government, the most stable site to lease appears to be the gully in Gunn which runs alongside Chung Wah Tce from Maluka St., to Lakeview Boulevarde. (contact Catherine on 8981 1344 or

Update : Urban Catchment Landcare Network :Tim West is the new NT Regional Land-care Facilitator. I talked with him recently about re-activating the Mitchell Creek Landcare Group Association. He advised the setup is likely to take 3 months and offered his assistance.

(Tim’s email contact is

A recent Darwin based urban and peri-urban Landcare group networking meeting saw representation from four groups: McMinns, East Point, Ludmilla and Rapid Creek. Volunteers had the opportunity to meet and share stories about their current activities. FOMC was not represented due to key members being interstate during that week. (refer website for more information on the urban Landcare network). See the National Natural Resource Management Business Plan 2011/2012 and available program funding grant details at .

Update : Federal funding – Successful Caring For Country Grant (CFOC) 2010:

We were successful in our CFOC funding application late last year to develop a Mitchell Creek Catchment Natural Management Resource (NRM) Plan. Funding of $19,500 has been received in the last week by Greening Australia (NT) who is sponsoring our project. Besides the Catchment Management Plan, we will develop information packs and present options and expected outcomes to a public education forum. We are working with Greening Australia (NT) to identify a consultant to carry out the work and expect a time frame of 6 weeks to complete the project. Sub-committee members are Alderman Sue McKinnon, Keith Oldfield (our NRM specialist) and a Greening Australia (NT) representative (tbc). (Contact Sue –number above - for a copy of the submission)


Mitchell Creek at Bridge on Lambrick Av.

ACTION: increase rehabilitation efforts at damaged creek with Greening Australia (NT) assistance.

Update – Conservation Re-Zoning Campaign -Mitchell Creek Catchment –

Contact has been maintained with NT Departmental members of Lands and Planning, Construction and Infrastructure and NRETAS over the December to April 2010/2011 Wet Season. So…some outcomes are:

Suburb of Johnston Stage 1

1. The Zoning Amendment document PA 2010/1429 was exhibited in January and February 2011 for a period of 4 weeks. This NT Planning Department Proposal was for a change from Future Development (FD) to Conservation (CN) zoning along Mitchell Creek, and recommended a 50m corridor either side of the creek.

We were disappointed at this Proposal as community understanding over the long term has been that at least a 100m buffer would be zoned on each side of the Creek in Johnston. As well, we understood from letters received from both the NT Planning Minister and the NT Planning Department CEO’s, prior to the Zoning Amendment being exhibited, that appropriate Conservation and Recreation zonings would be put in place once various easements, surveyed boundaries, etc were completed.
At the DCA Palmerston Reporting Body Hearing in late March, a number of public submissions were presented. PLan Inc. Convener Margaret Clinch and myself advised members at this DCA session to recommend to the Minister that he withdraw or defer the Amendment. My comments are based on NRETAS advice to the DCA: in June 2009, “It is essential that the Mitchell Creek is clearly defined, fenced and identified as a conservation area physically on the ground and through rezoning to CN. We also recommended that the drainage lines linking the escarpment and Mitchell creek are clearly identified as conservation areas.’ In July 2009 NRETAS recommended that, ‘Mitchell Creek, drainage areas, incised creeks, streams and channels, the southern tributary and the drainage lines running from the heritage site through the school be identified and their associated native vegetation buffers rezoned to conservation (CN).’ In June 2010, NRETAS recommended, ‘a 100m buffer/conservation zone on either side of Mitchell Creek.’ The original 2009 Development Application was thorough in its study of the land capability in Johnston for residential, conservation and public open space zoning but was not heeded in the rush to construct new suburbs. The Minister is yet to provide his advice.

Suburbs of Zuccoli and Mitchell

The 2nd Development Consent Authority (DCA) Palmerston Reporting Body Hearing for ‘Changes to Palmerston Eastern Suburbs Area Plan 2 of 3 PA 2010/1274’ (formerly PA2010/0106) ie Zuccoli was also held in March 2011. Areas for public comment raised by the NT Department of Planning are as follows: Zuccoli – 1. Replace currently proposed rural residential subdivision interface at Radford Rd with urban residential land and widen road reserve to 30m; 2. Alter areas of open space for conservation, natural parkland and storm-water management to more closely reflect topography and NRETAS land capability info; 3.Two alternate corridor transport options will be identified for walking, cycling and public transport between proposed Zuccoli neighborhood village and the Rosebery Community Hub. 4. The main road corridor (north-south) arterial between Mitchell and Zuccoli will be aligned further north from 1km to 1.5 km to maintain its function as buffer to biting insects.. 5. Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD).

Mitchell: Good News – NRETAS have recommended that a 200m setback be provided to the mangrove fringe that borders Mitchell as will have little impact on residential density. For more detail please contact myself as above.

Johnston Stage 1-Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD). This storm-water infrastructure runs alongside Mitchell Creek and is progressing towards completion. It has recently been fenced off and has locked gates, due to quad bike damage, blocking community access. It was initially included in the proposed conservation zoning for the Creek (PA 2010/1429) but as WSUD has a major environmental impact, ie chopping 25m to 35m out of the proposed 50m conservation zoning on the eastern side of the Creek - it can’t be zoned CN - as advised to the DCA Palmerston Reporting Body Hearing by PLan Inc. Convener, Margaret Clinch, myself and other submitters. The NT Planning Department is now considering which zoning is appropriate for WSUD in Johnston Stage 1. As WSUD will be constructed in Zuccoli as well, this decision will affect other Top End residential developments in environmentally sensitive areas.

As you can imagine this was not a welcome outcome, considering our extensive efforts trying to promote a more substantial conservation zone and open public space.

Palmerston Reporting Body

Suburb of Farrar: I am lobbying the NT Lands and Planning to extend the Mitchell Creek Conservation zoning to include its tributaries, drainage lines and flood plain at the same time as Conservation zoning is under consideration for Johnston, Zuccoli and Mitchell.

Volunteers are always welcome – we have plenty of activities for you to use your skills and get involved – guided walks, photography, research, IT skills, event organizing, screen printing, lobbying Government, letter writing, fundraising, grant writing,maintaining our market stall, blog and newsletter.
We also need help to upgrade our presentation and promotional activities about the Catchment for public information sessions.

Friends of Mitchell Creek Meetings

Held on the 4th Sunday of each month between 3 pm and 5pm. Please contact Sue with any queries and venue details.

Outcome of last meeting held 3 April 2011….

Tasks were:

  1. Friends Logo design discussion with local artist – to be done.

  2. Meeting with Greening Aust. about CFOC grant, etc. - completed

  3. Book Palmerston Markets stall site - completed

  4. Provide summary of FOMC activities for inclusion in a PowerPoint presentation - completed

  5. Send out plea for help with newsletters, etc from CDU Palmerston Camus CLM students – positive outcome.

  6. Celebrate the Arrival of the Dry at the Monsoon Gully. – deferred till after Sea Breeze Festival

  7. Meet with Tim West to discuss re-establishing the FOMC LandCare Group. - completed

Our Blog is at

Please take the time to check the blog, leave a comment, make a suggestion! Please contact me if you are interested in helping maintain the blog.

Johnston Stage 2 -Monsoon Gully

The gully is an interesting feature of the escarpment. NRETAS recommended that the monsoon vine forest associated with the gully located towards the eastern boundary is protected especially during the construction phase of the residential development. Plant species evident in the gully include a large Ficus opposita, Syzygium suborbiculare, Cycad spp, Carallia brachiate, Livistonia humilis, Ixora spp, Breynia cernua, Brachychiton paradoxum, Cayratia trifolia, Acacia auriculiforis, Flagellaria indica, Buchania obovata, Alstonia actinophylla, Carpentaria acuminata, Canarium austraianum, Ampelocissus acetosa and Vitex glabrata.

Residential development directly abutting onto the gully is likely to occur in approximately 12 months and it was agreed at the meeting that exploratory and construction work to protect the site be subject to a discussion by all parties prior to commencement. We intend to highlight the site for protection and continue to investigate any potential heritage listing.

Newsletter Contributions

Now is your chance, get your thinking caps on and send in a contribution for the next newsletter. We need photos, stories, articles, sketches …about the Catchment… by the end of the 3rd week of each month. Please send to Sue via contact details above.

Current areas of engagement:

Landcare Advocacy Biodiversity Heritage

Recreation Eco-tourism

Planning Land for Wildlife

Community Awareness & Engagement

Environmental Protection

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