Latest News

Volunteer Notice

A few words from ECOllaboration’s CEO.

Backyard blitz targets illegal weeds for sale

Queensland Government
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries media release

3 January 2020

Biosecurity Queensland and Sunshine Coast Regional Council target illegal weeds in backyard nurseries

• Biosecurity Queensland and Sunshine Coast Regional Council have seized more than 1,000 illegal cacti plants that were being propagated for sale by local backyard growers
• The plants are related to the prickly pear cactus and have the potential to spread in the same way, endangering the local environment, stock and native wildlife
• If you are planning to sell plants, make sure they are not restricted or prohibited under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Luke Short, Vector and Pest Plant Officer from Sunshine Coast Regional Council, removing drooping tree pear (Opuntia monacantha) that were intended for sale.

Biosecurity Queensland and Sunshine Coast Regional Council officers have destroyed more than 1,000 invasive plants being propagated for sale by backyard growers that had the potential to become serious pests.

Biosecurity Queensland Operations Manager Rob Cobon said most of the plants seized were cacti.

“Our staff, together with Sunshine Coast Regional Council officers have been on the lookout for people selling illegal plants either online or through local markets,” he said.

“The plants that we’ve seized are relatives to the prickly pear cactus, which decimated 60 million acres of land and sent many landholders broke.

“These plants have the potential to cause similar problems, are highly invasive and their sharp spines can also cause injury to stock and native animals.”

The Sunshine Coast Regional Council is taking a proactive approach to preventing weed infestations from occurring by implementing a local Biosecurity Plan.

Mr Cobon said the Biosecurity Act 2014 requires everyone to take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with invasive plants and animals under their control.

“So if you’re planning to sell plants online or at your local market, please make sure that they’re not restricted or prohibited,” he said.

“If these plants spread they can cause serious damage to the local environment and stock and native wildlife.”

If you have or think you know someone who is keeping or selling illegal plants please contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

Butterfly Flutters for Citizen Scientists

Knowledge of the population distribution of the endangered Richmond Birdwing Butterfly (Ornithoptera richmondia) is about to be improved with a new citizen science project in south east Queensland.


ECOllaboration Ltd’s Chief Executive Officer, Cerran Fawns, said “We have had many unofficial reports of sightings since our last survey ten years ago and we need to update records for the last five years”.


The butterfly is listed as vulnerable and is an important species that has been severely impacted by habitat loss and the introduced vine, the Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia elegans), which is poisonous to the butterfly larvae.

Dutchman’s Pipe photo courtesy of Jim Stuart

The native birdwing butterfly vine, Pararistolochia praevenosa, is what the larvae feed on in the wild, however it looks so similar to the Dutchman’s Pipe, the adult females get confused and lay eggs on the introduced vine which are a death trap for the emergent larvae.


The native birdwing butterfly vine has been planted widely throughout the region over the last ten years and we are wanting to determine if the populations have spread from the isolated pockets of the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast areas.


Ms Fawns added, “The males are easily recognisable being black and iridescent green with the females less striking with brown, yellow and white markings”.

Male butterfly photo courtesy of Elliot Bowerman


Female butterfly photo courtesy of Richard Bull

The data collected from the community sightings will be uploaded to the Living Atlas of Australia which gives a generalised map of the distribution and the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly Network.


To report sightings over the last five years and to view photos of the butterfly, vines and larvae, go to

A report from can also be downloaded and mailed to ECOllaboration, PO Box 311, Nambour Qld 4560 or phoned in on 07 54764777.


This project is supported by ECOllaboration Ltd, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

We Are Hiring!

Applications close 15th March 2018

Catchment Services is seeking applications from suitably qualified natural area practitioners to help deliver natural area works throughout the Sunshine Coast.  Works include riparian restoration activities, natural area management works, constructed lakes and wetlands maintenance, environmental offset management works and native landscaping works.

To be considered suitable the suscessful applicants must be willing to work as a team, have good communication skills, an enthusiastic attitude and the ability to work in rough and remote terrain in outdoor conditions.

Supervisor roles require 3 years experience in the natural area industry.

Team member roles require at least 1 year experience in the natural area industry.

All positions require the following qualifications:

Manual open drivers licence
ACDC licence
Chainsaw level 1 licence
Construction white card
Senior first aid certificate

Desirable qualifications and experience include:

Mobile mapping experience
Mobile reporting experience
GPS and GIS experience
MUTCD licence
Chainsaw level 2 licence
Working with children blue card

To apply, email CV and cover letter to info [at] catchmentservices [dot] org [dot] au

Membership Due for 2016 2017 Financial Year

Membership Form 2016 2017.docx

Membership Form 2016 2017.PDF

Thankyou for your support of Maroochy Waterwatch and please find above your membership form for this financial year.

For those of you who attended the AGM in December, the membership voted on moving the organisation to be a company limited be guarantee and changing the legal name to ECOllaboration.  Maroochy Waterwatch will still remain a business name for the valuable community activities looking after the Maroochy River.

I am pleased to inform you that ASIC recently registered the company.  However there are many other processes that need to be completed with the new structure and this may take some time.  As such we are sending out the normal membership renewal as Maroochy Waterwatch.  In the coming years you will be able to be a member of either ECOllaboration or Maroochy Waterwatch, depending on your relationship with the organisation!

By being a member of Maroochy Waterwatch, you can enable some amazing outcomes in looking after the environment.  Some of these have included:

  • Volunteering in various projects and administration with 40 volunteers and student placements
  • 30 000 pieces of marine debris removed from coast beaches with 22 volunteers
  • 13 000L of rubbish pulled out of the Maroochy and Mooloolah Rivers with 50 volunteers
  • 15 Community frog surveys with 40 volunteers
  • Community water testing amassing 8000 data entries from 60 volunteers
  • Industrial stormwater monitoring at 120 sites
  • Natural area management of 150 sites
  • Weed surveys and eradication works
  • River restoration works
  • 21 trainees in conservation and land management
  • 7 trainees in business administration
  • 30 school excursions, camps and holiday programs educating over 3000 students

For more information, please visit our websites and social media:                        

We look forward to your continuing membership.  Donations over $2 are tax deductable that enable this work to continue.

Kind regards,

Cerran Fawns

Chief Executive Officer


Native Bonsai Workshop

Want to learn to art of bonsai with native species?  Come along to an introductory workshop and take home your own native bonsai in the 2nd April at 8am at the ECOllaboration/ Maroochy Waterwatch office, Donaldson Rd, Nambour (behind Uniting Church carpark).  Cost is $30 for all materials.  RSVP essential by 29th March 2016 as number are limited.

Click here for more information for Native Bonsai Workshop 2 April 2016Bonsai Picture

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Paid On the Job Traineeships available in Conservation and Business Administration

We have 10 paid traineeships in Conservation and Land Management and 2 traineeshipd in Business Administration starting mid April 20162015-09-17 09.25.30 for 21 weeks.  Learn from the experts in their respective fields with a view to finding work in the industries.  For more information, contact Jim Stuart for Conservation enquiries or Cerran Fawns for Business Administration enquiries.  Phone the office on 54764 777 or email info [at] maroochycatchmentcentre [dot] org [dot] au.

This training is proudly funded and supported by the Queensland Government through its Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.

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Position Vacant – Business Administrator and Company Secretary

We have a position vacant for our Business Administrator and Company Secretary.  To view the position description, click on PD Business Administrator ECOllaboration. 

To apply for the position, please address the selection criteria and submit a cover letter with your CV/resume and email to cerran [at] ECOllaboration [dot] org [dot] au.

Applications close 15th January

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  • Contact Us


    Maroochy Waterwatch became a community business of ECOllaboration Ltd in July 2016.

    (07) 5476 4777

    Po Box 311, Nambour QLD 4560


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