Port Macquarie-Hastings Council
Sue Baker is an inspiring environmental leader who formed the Dunbogan Bushcare group in 1999. The committed volunteer team has restored more than 20 hectares of highly degraded habitat, including planting 6000 trees, undertaken an erosion control project, constructed an access pathway, eradicated bitou bush from all the sites, removed 90 tonnes of prickly pear and initiated a koala tree corridor.
At the same time, Sue took over a project that had been battling bitou bush on just one headland in Crowdy Bay National Park for 20 years and joined this to the Dunbogan sites in a habitat corridor project that has raised over $550,000 in grants. Working closely with National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Sue lobbied to trial aerial spraying on the inaccessible headland cliffs, followed by aerial foredune spraying that ultimately lead to spraying along 20 km of coastline. Following this success, NPWS now engages on-ground contractors to undertake this work on an annual basis. Since this work began, hundreds of hectares have been treated for bitou bush, with 90% now eliminated in areas continually worked, plus restoration of endangered littoral rainforest and other habitats.
In it’s 23rd year, the Dunbogan Bushcare group now covers a 70 hectare area, and has just begun restoration of a new area of rainforest with plans to plant 2600 seedlings over the next 12 months.
Sue has worked hard to increase community knowledge of local environmental issues, currently writing a weekly newspaper column, plus three environmentally-based children's books.