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Friends of Deal Island

November 2016 Working Bee

Eight volunteer members of FoDI will travel over to Deal Island this week for the two-week November 2016 Working Bee.  As usual, there is a lengthy list of jobs to be completed and it is hoped that the weather conditions will be conducive to a very successful and safe time for all who are volunteering their time and expertise.  Friends of Deal Island thank you all for your dedication to work on this iconic island.

The Works Program for the coming fortnight is as follows:

Deal Island Working Bee, November 2016 –Works Program

Orientation and Job Safety Briefings will be done by all of us on the first day, and then as needed on a daily basis.


  1.       Check thistles on East Cove and in Compound.  Pull, bag flowers and seed heads, and compost as required.  Keep a watch for thistles, mainly slender thistles, across the island and remove when found.
  2.        Check for sea spurge regrowth and washed in seedlings at Garden Cove, Winter Cove, and East Cove – this should be the big one requiring a couple of days work for most of us. Pull and drop, collecting any seedy material for composting.
  3.      Horehound sites at East Cove and Garden Cove to be checked while doing spurge
  4.      Mullein will need to be watched for in all areas we visit
  5.      Arum lily will be subject to searches and careful digging of and plants found, mainly at East Cove and Half Way House.
  6.      Ragwort – check the 12 or so outlier patches at Winter Cove and along the track to Winter Cove, at the airstrip, and Garden Cove, remove all plants and compost flowers and seed heads.  The main ragwort patch above Winter Cove covering 15 hectares is being managed to support the ragwort flea beetle, a biological control agent released in the area in January this year.  We will be removing any flowering or seedy material, but retaining the rosettes as food for the beetles.      Marking, monitoring, and mapping of weed sites will be undertaken.  We use star pickets and cattle tags to identify sites, and these need updating, removal, etc., as necessary.

Erosion control

  1. 8.       We have purchased 20 coconut coir fibre logs to be installed in erosion prone areas on the East Cove bank.  These fibre logs are two sizes; 2 metres by 20cm diameter, 17kg, and 3 metre by 30cm, 24kg, and we have 10 of each. These are stored at the jetty, having been purchased in South Australia, trucked to Gippsland, then fishing boat to Deal.
  2. 9.       At the last working bee we planted out some sheoaks on the bank, and will be checking these, possibly collecting more sheoak seedlings and potting up.

Heritage work

  1. 10.   The island has the remains of two horse powered whims built in 1871 and in operation until the present roads were built in the 1930’s.  One was used to haul stores from the jetty to the compound area, the other to haul stores up the last steep section of Lighthouse Hill.  They are believed to be the only remaining examples of horse drawn whims in Australia which were not motorised.  We will be assessing both structures and stabilising where we can.
  2. 11.   Other jobs may be necessary to secure structures damaged by weather, and where a small repair now will prevent further damage.
  3. 12.   Some cleaning may be required in the museum.
  4. 13.   Various miscellaneous jobs on infrastructure such as roads, water supply, etc. on an as required basis.

Friends of Deal Island

Working Bee Report 10-29 February 2016


Funding:  The bulk of funds for this working bee came from the grant provided by the Australian Government 25 Year Landcare Grant for weed management and restoration of native vegetation.  Some funds were also sourced from the Deal Is General Fund.  Volunteer participants contributed to travel costs, and paid for food.  In-kind support was provided by PWS Flinders Island with use of the visitors’ house, vehicle, gas, etc. on Deal.

Participants:  Bob Tyson, Shirley and Dallas Baker, Mark and Neeson Woodley, Shirley Fish, Jon Marsden - Smedley, Phillipa Foster and Suzie Donkers.

Catering:  The bulk of the food was ordered in advance from Walkers Supermarket, with meat ordered through Shane the butcher in Whitemark.  Special thanks go to Sally, Rachael and other staff of Walkers for being extremely helpful, particularly given the short notice we gave them this time. Thank you too to Phillipa Foster for your help in managing the food inventory.

Transport:  As a change we arranged to fly from Bridport to Lady Baron with Flinders Aviation Services, transfer straight to James Luddington’s Strait Lady, then travel directly to Deal Island.  However the airstrips at both Bridport and Lady Baron were closed soon after the first plane landed at Lady Baron, due to poor visibility from bushfire smoke.  So the boat was loaded and travelled via Whitemark to Killiecrankie, and there waited for the remaining two to arrive.  Once the smoke cleared mid afternoon and the strips had re-opened, they were flown in to the Killiecrankie strip, ferried by Alan Wheatley to the beach, and then Ian Johnston, a visiting yachtsman, rowed them out to Strait Lady. The breeze which cleared the smoke also caused a very lumpy sea for the 3 hour slog to Deal.

The return journey was on the day originally planned – with James loading us at dawn, arriving in Lady Baron about 1230 for a transfer to the airstrip, with everyone arriving together in two planes at Bridport.

Caretakers:  Meryl and Roger were very welcoming, and worked with us on several days of the 19 day working bee. They made the truck available when we needed it.  We also shared several meals.

Induction, Training and Safety:  Once we got to Deal, everyone was introduced to the island and the projects to be undertaken.  Job safety was discussed.  Job Risk Analyses were read, Material Safety Data Sheets were available and referred to and Personal Protection Equipment was provided and its use emphasised.  We reviewed each day’s work as we went and discussed safety issues arising.  Weed and native species, including rarities, were introduced as we worked.

Weeding Program Objectives

  • Remove all flowers and seeds from ragwort in the main patch, dig all ragwort plants in all the outlier patches, set up transects at the beetle release sites, and map everything done.
  • Check and conduct maintenance weeding of all known (about 50) weed sites on the island, particularly sea spurge and horehound.
  • Look for new infestations and map, weed and mark any found.

The first thing noted was the impact of the long spell of very dry weather which had broken with a 150mm downpour over two days the week before we arrived. Although a lot of sand washed down East Cove bank on to the road (cleaned up by Meryl and Roger before we arrived), the amount of vegetation which has grown as the sea spurge was removed prevented any significant wash outs.


This was the earliest working bee(in the year) we have held, timed specifically to try and catch the ragwort in flower before too much seed had been released.  Ideally a couple of weeks earlier would have caught more flowers before seeding. We started by all visiting the flea beetle release sites with Roger. He said they were very active when released, a good sign!  A couple of us thought we might have been able to see a few small holes where beetles had been feeding. A major effort was put into clearing by digging as many plants as possible from all patches except for the main patch.  All were done thoroughly. As the plants were in flower, and easier to find, we scoured all the poa grasslands with many flowering plants found and removed.  While many of these were in the general vicinity of known patches, plants were found in new areas such as northern end of the airstrip, the grassy valley between the mid-point of the Garden Cove track and the Winter Cove track.  All plants were GPS’ed and mapped.  Some sites were also marked with stakes. Around 160 hours were spent in the main patch, and 108 on the outliers.

    Inspecting the ragwort patch                                                    Hunting for flea beetles??

Sea Spurge:

Sea spurge was a lot harder to find at both East Cove and Garden Cove, and apart from one very small seedling at Winter Cove, none was found elsewhere on the island.

We made several visits to Garden Cove, each time finding a few more spurge. One new patch of 50 flowering plants was found close to the she-oak forest edge near the old track, the furthest patch inland found to date.

Overall we spent 40 hours and removed an estimated 750 plants from the 5ha site of the original Garden Cove infestation.  This was the eleventh re-weeding of the site first cleared in 2010.

The slopes of East Cove were re-weeded for its fifth time. Regrowth plants were mainly small, although occasional larger plants were found twining through Poa or other shrubs.  Only a handful of plants were found outside the fenced area. We spent 45 hours removing an estimated 9000 plants.

Likely places around the coastline were checked for new infestations –nothing new was revealed by checks of both sides of Squally Cove, Little Squally Cove, Pegleg, Indian Head Cove, Pulpit Rock, the cobble beach just north of Winter Cove, shown in photo,  and also the cobble beach between the two headlands east of Squally Bay.

Arum Lilies:

Known arum sites were checked, with only a few small plants at Telstra Corner, and one below the flagpole downhill of the compound fence.                                                                               Time:  4 hours


Known sites at Garden Cove, the residence compound area, as well as the Jetty Patch, a site in Indian Head Cove were all checked.  Eight plants were found in the area downhill of the generator shed. None were found by the stake near the cattle yards. None found at Garden Cove, nor were any at Indian Head Cove.  But about 300 seedlings were found and removed from the Jetty Patch.

Mullein (creticum and great):

A few scattered great mullein including one seed head, three patches of creticum mullein seedlings, one near the stake near the Garden Cove dam, one at the top of the old Garden Cove track, and a new patch between the gateway on the Garden Cove track and the top of the airstrip.

Other weeds

Thistles were virtually absent, with very few found.  We did find one Marvel of Peru growing next to the concrete slab which was the pump base at Garden Cove dam.  One of these had been found in the same location some years ago.  This time there were a number of seedlings around the parent plant.  We also found one fleabane in the main ragwort patch near the northern of the two flea beetle release sites.  The single plant was close to two metres tall.  A couple of fleabane plants were found on a previous working bee. .

 Marvel of Peru                     Fleabane

Revegetation and Erosion Control

The dozen she-oaks collected at the last working bee were all growing healthily in pots in the vegie garden.  These were planted out, three along the old fenceline in the main fenced area, three in the small exclosure below Telstra corner, and three in each of the erosion gullies below Telstra Corner.

The condition of the steeper slopes were checked, and apart from surface runnels, appeared to be holding up well.  Sites for the new coco logs which will be laid in November were checked.


Jon mapped all areas worked on and recorded all GPS locations on spread sheets.  In addition to the weeds, tracks, structures, rubbish tips, cairns, etc. were all recorded.

Photos for before and after monitoring were updated.

Tools and equipment / Inventories

  • Inventories were completed of the tools herbicides and associated chemicals and associated Personal Protective Equipment which is held in the Paint Store. (See Appendix)
  • Dabbers, secateurs and loppers were cleaned as required.  Before leaving, all equipment was cleaned, and stored as listed in the Weed Folder.

Inventory of the food held on the island.                                                         



Heritage Restoration on Kent Group Museum and Lighthouse

Dallas Baker

                The main task for heritage restoration was to lime plaster the holes in the ceiling of the Kent Group Museum. To achieve this FoDI acquired the services of Mark Woodley, master Tasmanian heritage plasterer.  Mark supplied prepared plaster and his specialist tools for the task.  We were also able to recover old lime plaster that had been left in the store from the previous attempt to patch the ceiling by Bush Heritage 17 years ago. 

The ability to restore this old plaster demonstrated the amazing ability of lime plaster as a product.  Mark and Dallas recovered sand from below Barn Hill as this was very suitable to produce the final plaster.  Mark examined the existing holes in the ceiling of Room 5 and started the long process of applying thin layers of plaster into the existing lathes and then each day applied another coat to gradually bring the treated areas up to the level of the existing ceiling.  The final coat of pure lime plaster gave the repair a smooth finish in keeping with the existing ceiling.  Unfortunately, the new repair made the original 1999 repair attempt look very amateurish and this will have to be treated/repaired on a future working bee.

Inspections were carried out on the building and it was noted there were two panels adjacent to the chimneys in the Lighthouse room and the Shipwreck room. These panels cover up more ceiling damage caused by water entry previously.  These areas will also have to be repaired and replastered on future working bees.  All nailed/screwed boards attached to the ceilings were removed as they should not have been placed there in the first place.  Cracks in the ceiling are a natural happening of lathe and plaster ceilings 170 years old. Examination of these ceilings did not demonstrate any damage similar to the area that had collapsed.  This area of collapse had occurred because of water incursion through leaking sky-lights.  Mark carried out a full inspection of the building and will provide a scope of works for future restoration.  He was astounded at the condition of the museum, considering its age. He commented the building was possibly unique it that very little change has been made i.e. no plumbing fittings and no electrical fittings etc. and was truly a fine example of an historic Georgian structure of its period of construction.  The drainage was improved at the back of the museum to minimise the threat of rising damp and the original paving stones were exposed for display.

              In between the museum plastering Mark and Dallas paid visits to the lighthouse to examine the missing piece of render and it was agreed to apply a temporary repair using lime plaster to prevent water incursion inside the render coating.  It was noted that the existing render was Portland cement.  Mark noted that cement did not exist when the lighthouse was constructed and the render must have been applied at a much later date.  At least five visits were required to apply layers of plaster to the hole.

              During these visits tussock grass regrowth near the column were removed.  One day was set aside to work on the lighthouse precinct by all members.  Three members removed previously cut she-oak trees further away from the lighthouse and the other five members worked on clearing a section of the Lighthouse whim approximately 40 metres below the top station.  It was exciting to find the two sets of rail lines still existed and that the platform between these lines had been paved with clay bricks and stones.  It is recommended that future working bees continue to clear sections of this whim as it is considered the whims on Deal Island are the last existing structures of their kind in Australia. 

              At the request of the caretakers Dallas and Mark cut up and removed several large she oaks that had been brought down by a storm on the Peg-leg Cove track.  A she oak was removed from the area of the fuel tanks where it was causing damage to the tank fittings.



WORKING-BEE -  February 2016

Kent Group Museum Report

Shirley Baker

Six double-sided interpretation banners and two single-sided interpretation banners were replaced with newly printed, fully laminated banners.  The original banners (which had incurred heavy growth of mould and some damage where past volunteer caretakers had attempted, in good faith, to “clean” the banners) were removed from their bases and the new laminated banners were then fixed into the bases by Dallas Baker and Mark Woodley.  The new laminated banners are now a “fixture” and may not be retracted into their bases due to the thickness of the lamination.  Fuji Xerox Hobart who printed the original and replacement banners had not previously encountered such a mould problem on retractable banners such as was evident in the Kent Group Museum. Fuji Xerox Hobart are now aware that banners such as those used for interpretation in the Kent Group Museum will require full lamination when installed in remote areas within buildings having no atmospheric controls.

Two new interpretation panels interpreting the wreck of the S.S. Bulli and the wreck of the White Squall installed in Room 3 (Wreck Room) of the Kent Group Museum.  Both panels were researched and compiled by Shirley Baker, printed and laminated by Office Works Hobart to size 500cm prior to the working- bee.  The panels were sized to fit two existing display boxes (retained from the museum’s original uncatalogued display) which were stored following the installation of the Kent Group Museum’s Arts Tasmania Interpretation Project installation. 


  1. ·         Fourteen new information booklets prepared for display in Room 6 (History and Reading Room)

Preparation of the following booklets involved extensive hours of research, searching photographic collections and downloading of information prior to the working bee. Time “on-island” was given to scanning, retyping of old newspaper records (barely readable) and printed articles, cropping, resizing and enhancement of text and photographic images, appropriate arrangement of chronological order etc.  Appropriate arrangement of photographic collections and printing of captions, all printing, lamination, set-up and typing of Title Pages and spiral binding of booklets was completed on-island in the confines of Room 6 (History/Reading Room).  

1.    Deal Island – Conservation of Interior Paper Finishes, Phase I Original booklet donated to Kent Group Museum by Melissa Smith (Arts Tasmania) who assisted with the project

2.  Rev. Canon Marcus Blake Brownrigg – Biography, Obituary, Cruise of the Freak (extract) – Trip to Kent’s Group

3.  Extract from Cruise of the Beacon, 1854, A Narrative of a Visit to The Islands in Bass’s Straits, Kent’s Group

4.  Loss of the S.S. Bulli (The Bulli Coal Mining Company), Wrecked Kent’s Group, 1877

5.  Wreck of the White Squall, on East Cove, Deal Island, June 15, 1851

6.  Extract from Mariners are Warned:  John Lort Stokes and H.M.S. Beagle in Australia, 1837-1843

7.  Images of Deal Island, courtesy of Lyndon O’Grady, from the Archives of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority

8.  Collection of Photographic Images (including a letter) from Max Huxley, son of Cyril Huxley, Deal Island Lightstation, 1932-35

9.    Transcript of a Radio Talk by Roderick Johnston, Head Keeper 1930-1934, Deal Island Light (broadcast 1933)

10. Extract from Lighthouses and Wrecks by Stephen Murray-Smith, A Story of The Lighthouse Supply Run:  Frank Gould and the Marjorie Phyllis, circa 1960’s

11. Stephen Murray-Smith (of the Erith Mob) 1922-1988

12. A Note on the Discovery of Stone Tools on Erith Island, The Kent Group. by Rhys Jones and R.J Lambert

13. Collection of Photographic Images by Jack Bennell, Crew Member on Defender, 1934-1935 (Bass Strait Supply Vessel)

14. Bass Strait, Australia’s Last Frontier, published by The Australian Broadcasting Commission, 1969

New collection piece -  in the process of work in the museum, a brooch was discovered on a ledge in an upper floor room (Room 9).  It has been brought off Deal Island and is in the possession of Shirley Baker who will seek advice on the provenance of the brooch which will be returned to the Kent Group Museum and catalogued as part of the collection.

Artefact from S.S. Bulli (?) – in the museum a piece of iron in very advanced stages of rusting was discovered.  A tag was attached to the piece which noted that the piece was pulled up on the anchor of a yacht which had been moored in East Cove in the vicinity of the wreck of the S.S. Bulli.  The yachtsman had delivered the piece of iron to the Kent Group Museum with his name and the name of his yacht on the tag.  I sought advice from TMAG – the recommendation was to return the piece, if possible, to the sight of the sunken S.S. Bulli.  On the working-bee’s departure from Deal Island, James Luddington (Strait Lady) obliged by crossing Murray Pass to the site of the Bulli wreck and the piece of iron was dropped into waters over the site.

John Hague Rocking Chair was removed from perspex “box” and inspected for mildew/mould – none evident.  The chair was placed outdoors in a warm, sunny protected area for several hours whilst the perspex box was cleaned.  Two containers of Damp Rid were removed from the box (approx. 2/3 filled with water) and three new containers of Damp Rid were inserted when the chair was replaced into the box.

Silver fish traps – all “old” silver-fish traps were replaced with new traps.  It was encouraging to find no evidence of silver-fish in the museum and to know that the continuing use of silver-fish traps and cleaning of the building is having a positive effect.

Cleaning - The Kent Group Museum (Superintendent’s Cottage) was thoroughly cleaned:

  1. ·         All surfaces dusted and wiped with damp cloth
  2. ·         All walls vacuumed
  3. ·         Ceiling of Room 1 (Lighthouse Room) washed down to remove mould
  4. ·         All floors vacuumed
  5. ·         All catalogue items dusted
  6. ·         Skirting boards wiped with damp cloth
  7. ·         All floors washed and mopped
  8. ·         Prior to the departure of the working-bee crew, four Imperator Smoke Generator “bombs” were activated in the museum.  Once again, the absence of evidence of vermin in the building is most encouraging since this “good practice” maintenance recommendation has been instigated over the past three years.

Recommendations to Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service:

Resupply of “Exit Mould” – no mould inhibitor could be found on the island for use in house or buildings

Resupply of floor mop to Visitor House – no mop available

The above museum and

heritage works were funded by Friends of Deal Island (Wildcare Inc)

FRIENDS OF DEAL ISLAND NEWSLETTER NO.33 - January 2016                                                                                                             

Annual General Meeting Thursday 10 March 2016.  Make a note in your diary – 5pm at Derwent Sailing Squadron, for 5.30 meeting, to be followed by dinner about 7pm.  An agenda and minutes of the last AGM will be circulated closer to the time.

2015 in review; The past year has seen progress made in both conservation of the natural assets and the historic heritage of the Island. Highlights and a lowlight! are:

  1. ·         Garden Cove and East Cove are no longer dominated by the two extensive sea spurge infestations which were deemed untreatable in the past. It shows what can be achieved by a few people with a bit of determination, persistence and cooperation!
  2. ·         Apart from ragwort, all other known target weed infestations are controlled, and the start of a program for its treatment is planned for next working bee.
  3. ·         Extensions to the wallaby exclusion areas by relocating some lengths of fence have further reduced the damage wallabies have been causing to recovering native vegetation by grazing and moving through these sensitive areas near East Cove. As a result, recovery of the vegetation has accelerated and the slopes are becoming more stable.
  4. ·         Development of the museum continues with the addition of new reading / information materials (including copies of Trauti Reynold’s journals.)The island’s original signal flags were cleaned and housed appropriately.  Further preparation for the repair of skylights and the ceiling in the museum was also made.
  5. ·         A lowlight:  a piece of render has fallen out of the side of the lighthouse tower. We have been long aware that there is urgent need for the repair of the lighthouse tower. It was referred to as a management issue in the 2005 Management Plan (now more than 10 years old.) “Within the next few years the light tower will require painting – a major and expensive task. At present the major need is for routine cyclic maintenance.”  This is a major issue which demonstrates that there is now only a fairly small window of opportunity to make the repairs necessary for its preservation. We must lift our bottoms off our hands and get busy!

Supporting Each Other….. An article from Devonport’s Bass Strait Maritime Centre’s latest Newsletter

The building of networks and working relationships between maritime and heritage groups is vital to ensure the message of the importance of preserving our heritage is promoted far and wide. It is also an opportunity to support each other with the sharing of knowledge and resources.

The Bass Strait Maritime Centre has formed a strong bond with the Kent Group Museum, responding positively to a request to share one of the Centre’s interpretation panels, selling the Lighthouse Recipe Book which raises funds for the Museum, having Dallas and Shirley Baker as speakers for our Maritime and Heritage Talks and, more recently, receiving three beautifully written and illustrated journals by Trauti Reynolds which the Centre will store for the Museum.

Trauti and her husband, David, were volunteer caretakers on Deal Island three times for a period of three months each time. During their time on the island, both in caretaking roles and on working bees, Trauti kept a day to day journal which she embellished with photographs and hand drawings. Trauti donated the journals to the Kent Group Museum for visitors to enjoy.

As the journals cannot be left on Deal Island due to environmental reasons, they have been scanned and laminated copies put in the Museum on the island for visitors to enjoy. In addition to storing these valuable journals, the Centre has been given permission to display the journals and they will be featured later in the year.

November 2015 Working Bee

Despite the bad weather which reduced the bee by 4 days, the work planned was completed successfully.  Just as Caretakers Rob and Fiona had warned us, the island was very dry.  They had recorded just a few points in the first half of their stint.

The view of East Cove as we arrived though was encouraging, with many more native grasses growing on the bank, and they were carrying seed, (as our prickly socks indicated).  Other native plants too were repopulating those steep and unstable sandy slopes. From arrival, we set out to catch up time, and found that routine maintenance weeding was completed in surprisingly short time. Thistles in the East Cove / Residence Compound area for example, were weeded by the team during the first afternoon. They were fewer and smaller than last time but a few though were flowering, and a small number had seeded.

No flowering sea spurge was seen at East Cove, and the regrowth plants were tens of centimetres rather than millimetres apart as they were in April.  At Garden Cove spurge was harder to find with between 1500 and 2500 plants removed from the whole 5ha site. We did though find a couple of small seedy outliers which will have to be watched carefully. A few small swarms of two leafed seedlings at several sites were evidence of newly arrived seed brought in by the high water of winter storms.

The main job of this bee was to prepare for the campaign against ragwort which will start in February. (This is the final weed targeted by the current weeding program.) During this bee, the main patches of ragwort infestation were remapped. Markers for permanent transects and photo point monitoring were set up so future progress can be tracked. Likely sites for the release of the bio-control agent, the ragwort flea beetle, which we plan to use to help treat the main patch, were selected. And the majority of the smaller patches were weeded.

Work continued in the museum with the addition of further information, stories and photographic collections to the Reading Room (many prepared off-site). These included copies of Trauti Reynold’s three journals of life on the island. Deal Island’s original signal flags, discovered in a wooden chest under a display case have been cleaned and placed in labelled dust and insect proof containers and fitted back into their allocated pigeonholes in the lighthouse flag cupboard. The larger semaphore flags were placed in a canister on top. A major disappointment though was to find that the interpretation screens, put in place such a short time ago, had become mouldy – and subsequent attempts to clean them had caused further damage to the printed surface. Shirley is following this up with the suppliers.

December General Meeting

A general meeting of the Friends of Deal Island was held at Soho Hotel on 10th December. It was well attended, with 19 members present, and 13 sent their apologies.  Despite the interest indicated by this wonderful turn-out, FoDI still lacks a full committee – a situation which has dragged on since the last AGM of FoDI. The lighthouse needs repair urgently – before it is too late. We need more rather than fewer members actively working in a variety of ways to make this happen.  The profile of the Deal Island lightstation as being one of Australia’s oldest, most complete and historically, important lightstations, needs to be raised. Dallas has been doing a wonderful job bringing the issue to the attention of politicians including the Tasmanian Minister for Parks and Wildlife, Tasmanian members of the Commonwealth Government, and the Prime Minister.

Reports of the weeding and heritage works done during the November working bee were tabled. Shirley in her capacity as stand in treasurer advised the meeting of our current account balances.

Bob discussed the relationship between FoDI and Parks in conducting natural or cultural heritage works and/ or fund raising for works on Deal (or other lightstations). He also reported a recent discussion with Parks Heritage Officer Peter Rigozzi about possibilities for managing some of this much needed maintenance.

The state government per Parks is responsible for (effectively the owner) of three Tasmanian lighthouses – Bruny, Maatsuyker and Deal Island.  Parks is also responsible for the lightstation buildings on Tasman Island, and Low Head including the Pilot Station but in these cases, the lighthouses themselves, as working lights, continue to be owned and maintained by the Australian Government. Parks have allocated some funds to paint the Bruny Is. tower this year, with further funds to do some work on visitor facilities - road upgrading, parking and toilets.

Parks has also allocated a small amount to commence maintenance work on the Maatsuyker lighthouse this year. Friends of Maatsuyker are also contributing some funds and volunteer labour. The work is being guided by a Catch-up Maintenance Plan (the CUMP) which was written as guidance for works on Maatsuyker. Peter Rigozzi has suggested that as the two lantern rooms are very similar, and have similar problems with ingress of water, the Maatsuyker CUMP is also relevant for Deal. Both are Chance bros 1891 12 foot lanterns with diagonal pattern glazing of 16 panels by 3 panes per panel and there are many other features in common too.

Both Peter and the Friends of Maatuyker are agreeable for FoDI to use the same CUMP to guide maintenance work on the Deal Island tower. On Maatsuyker, the work is being led by two experienced contractors and it may be possible to use their services to initiate some of the most urgent work on Deal. Bob to follow this up.

The next working bee is planned to be held from 11th to 29th February.

Apart from conducting the program of maintenance weeding of weeds already being treated, this bee will concentrate on the introduction of a population of ragwort flea beetles as bio agents as part of the strategy to control ragwort. It is planned that these little (flea sized) beetles will be collected from the south of the state. They will be vacuumed up as they hatch, transported to Deal and released as quickly as possible to maximise the chance of successful introduction. (This all may even have happened by the time you read this!!!) Meantime, weeding bee’ers will be removing and disposing of as much flowering or seeding material as possible to reduce seed production.

In the museum, it is planned to repair the lathe and plaster ceiling, and the skylight windows.

Stop Press 13th January – the Beetles have landed!

Ragwort Flea Beetles have now been installed on Deal Island as biological control agents to be used in the campaign to manage ragwort. Ragwort bio-control expert, Richard Holloway, collected 1200 – 1500 of them from a couple of populations on Bruny Island on Jan. 11th.  They travelled by car to Hobart, then to Low Head on the 12th and on to Bridport and early on the 13th.  They were flown to Lady Baron, then delivered to Ranger Wayne Dick who promptly delivered them by plane to Deal Island.  By the evening of Wednesday January 13th the Caretakers would have introduced them to two sites in the main ragwort patch. With less than three days between capture and release, the beetles have an excellent chance of successful introduction. Just imagine them munching away happily on the island’s lovely lush ragwort.

A Bouquet from the General Manager, Peter Mooney - after visiting Deal Island recently, Peter, in a brief article in the PWS magazine ‘Buttongrass’, commented on the difference that the Friends of Deal Island and the caretakers had made in maintaining the building s of the lightstation, and by removing sea spurge from East Cove.

Dates for your diary Etc…

  1. ·         Tuesday 2nd February:  Maritime Museum Lunchtime Talk. Dallas will be presenting the talk with a PowerPoint presentation about the history and maintenance needs of the Deal Island Lighthouse.
  2. ·         February working bee; (11th to 29th February 2016) now fully subscribed. (The following bee is likely to be held in November 2016. Put your name down now if you are interested.)
  3. ·         Friends of Deal Island, AGM and election of committee (you can nominate anytime before or at the meeting), Thursday 10th March at the Derwent Yacht Squadron, Marieville Esplanade, Sandy Bay.  Arrive about 5.00 pm to get a refreshment from the bar ready for a 5.30 pm meeting in the DSS Meeting Room, followed by 7pm dinner.

Renew your Wildcare membership:  Quick tip - It's a lot easier to renew you Wildcare membership before you renew your Parks and Wildlife Annual Car Pass. If you do, simply quote your Wildcare number and you will receive a discount on your Park Pass. Please be patient – the new Wildcare website is having some teething trouble!

Check that you actually are a member of Friends of Deal Island by logging in to Wildcare Tasmania, selecting the “members”button, then “my preferences”.  Here you will find a list of all the groups you have expressed interest in.  If Friends of Deal isn’t on your list, use the box provided to “add new group”. Please do check. It saves so much time and effort in getting information out to you if we can use member lists which are complete and up to date. If you wish to withdraw your membership, or do not want to receive news by email, do let us know and we can ‘unsubscribe’ you.

Happy New Year to you, and your families.  For Deal Island, may the year 2016 be marked by great strides in the maintenance of both its natural and historic heritage.

Bob and Penny Tyson    (President and Editor) DEAL ISLAND NEWSLETTER NO. 33

Friends of Deal Island

Working Bee Report 4 – 18 Nov 2015


Funding:  As for the April working bee, the bulk of funds for this working bee came from the grant provided by the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife for weed management and restoration of native vegetation.  Some funds were also sourced from the Deal Is General Fund.  Volunteer participants contributed to travel costs, paid for food for the fortnight and accommodation on Flinders Island.  In-kind support was provided by PWS Flinders Island with use of the visitors’ house, vehicle, gas, etc. on Deal.


  • Check and conduct maintenance weeding of all known (about 50) weed sites on the island.
  • Look for new infestations and map, weed and mark any found.
  • We wanted to re-assess and map the sites of ragwort infestation in preparation for the release of bio-control agents planned for January / February of 2016. It is hoped that these agents (ragwort flea beetles) will play a useful part in controlling ragwort on Deal.
  • A record of weed work done was added to the Weed Folder in which an account of all weeding work done on the Island is kept.
  • Some heritage work was done on maintenance of the museum building and additional items added to the collection and reading room. Reported separately.

Participants:  Bob and Penny Tyson, Shirley and Dallas Baker, Shirley Fish, Stuart Dudgeon, Jon Marsden - Smedley, and Vic Wadley.

Catering:  The bulk of the food was ordered in advance from Walkers Supermarket, with meat Vic and ordered through Shane the butcher in Whitemark.  Special thanks go to Sally, Rachael and other staff of Walkers for being extremely helpful, particularly given the short notice we gave them this time. Thank you too to Vic and Phillipa Foster for your help in managing the food inventory.

Transport:  As usual, this involved private vehicle transport to and from homes and Launceston Airport; Sharp Airline flights to/from Flinders Island; and boat crossings between Flinders Island and Deal Island which were with James Luddington on Strait Lady. The dates for the working bee were set for favourable tides to load and unload the boat. The plan was to stay a night on Flinders (Elvstan Cottages) before embarking on the boat trip on the morning of the 5th. However, the crossing to Deal Island was delayed by poor weather, and it wasn’t until the 8th that we set sail.

Additional Expenses:  This caused additional expense in spending four nights in the cottages instead of one as originally planned. We had to hire a bus for transport of ourselves and our gear. There were additional food costs as well because of the disruptions to the trip.

The return journey was one day earlier than originally planned – again because of impending bad weather. It was a good trip and we were joined by James and Lindsey for our end of bee pub meal.  The flight back to Launceston was the early flight of 18th November.

Caretakers:  Rob and Fiona were very welcoming.  They met us at the jetty with the truck to transport all the gear up to the house.  There we found a wonderful poppy seed cake to welcome us. They made the truck available when we needed it.  We also shared several meals with them. And Fiona gave a fascinating talk about the project she was doing about the seaweeds of the area. She showed some amazing and beautiful photographs of the algae that she had identified.

Induction, Training and Safety:  Once we got to Deal, everyone was introduced to the island and the projects to be undertaken.  Job safety was discussed.  Job Risk Analyses were read, Material Safety Data Sheets were available and referred to and Personal Protection Equipment was provided and its use emphasised.  We reviewed each day’s work as we went and discussed safety issues arising.  Weed and native species, including rarities, were introduced as we worked.

First Impressions

Rob and Fiona had warned us that the island was very dry with just a very few points of rain recorded whilst they had been there. Regardless, the slopes down to East Cove although dry, carried more vegetation than when we left it in April - which was also a dry month. With that in mind, we expected to find that weed plants had produced seed early.

Some small thistles were in flower and a few had begun to seed. No flowering spurge was seen on the slopes down to East Cove, and the plants were tens of centimetres, rather than millimetres apart as they were in April. We soon discovered that the native grasses had flowered and seeded prolifically – their seeds quickly worked their way into our socks! When weeding got underway, and we moved across the East Cove slopes, we found the ground to be far more stable than on previous visits - due both to continuing recovery of the native vegetation reduction of damaging effects of wallabies through their removal from the expanded exclusion area fenced in April.

Apart from ragwort, the size of weed plants on the island, and their number, were noticeably smaller than had been seen on previous visits. One could ask if this was a reflection of the success of our weeding efforts, or a result of the current dry season.


Being aware that time was short because of our late start, and having noticed the scarcity of thistle plants visible on our way up the road from the jetty, and that few of them had begun to release see; we decided to catch up time and spend the rest of that first afternoon pulling them. Amazingly, it only took a couple of hours to clear the majority from around the Cove and the settlement. The whole plants were composted in the old water tank on the tip. We continued to pull out thistles as we moved around the island – and by the end of the bee, wouldn’t have filled more than 10% of the tank which was so easily filled on the last bee.                                                                  Time:  20 hours

Sea Spurge:

Everyone was keen to visit Garden Cove and see how spurge had been faring since seen last. We did this area next. It took 6 of us just ¾ of the day to clear the 5ha area previously infested. No seedy spurge noted - amazing! Outliers were remapped, the few thistles found were pulled, and the area checked for ragwort, horehound; creticum and great mullein. It was noted that the area was extremely dry, with some Poa tussock apparently dying.

Two follow-up visits to Garden Cove produced few more spurge and unfortunately, two new outliers about 50metres apart, on either side of the creek, and close to the sand hill with the pole on it.  One was a group of seven plants, and nearby, a single seedy plant was found. They were cleared and marked with stakes. (One white topped, and the other rusty.)

Overall it was estimated that on this bee, we removed between 1 500 and 2 500 plants from the 5ha site of the original Garden Cove infestation.  This was the tenth re-weeding of the site first cleared in 2010.

We had Dr Jon Marsden-Smedley (expert in mapping and estimating weed problems – especially spurge) on the weeding team. His prediction is that at the current rate of progress, about 250 spurge plants only will be found at Garden Cove in April 2016 by the next bee. Hard to find though.

Cleared of weedy spurge for the first time by the May 2014 bee, the slopes of East Cove which formerly carried an infestation of similar size to the one at Garden Cove, were looking good. The current working bee re-weeded the site a fourth time. Regrowth plants were mainly single or two stemmed about 20 – 30 cm tall, but grading down to 2-leafed seedlings; and spaced 20 – 100 cm apart. It was easier to move around the slopes to weed them, as the whole area was more stable.

Going back to Jon’s estimates - pre weeding, his estimate is that the population of spurge at East Cove would have been about 2 million. About 100 000 would have been removed by this bee, and he estimates that at the April bee, there will be just 10 000 to remove!

Winter Cove was checked thoroughly for spurge, plants and about 50 small plants were found, mainly below the vegetation of the foredunes. This suggests that there must have been some seed washed in by higher water over winter. Similarly, some very young germinants were also found at the high water marks of the beaches of Garden and East Coves. In addition, some small ‘swarms’ of 2-leafed seedlings were noted on steep faces of dunes where soil / sand movement had exposed additional stored seed.

Likely places around the coastline were checked for new infestations – nothing new was revealed by checks of both sides of Squally Cove, Little Squally Cove, Pegleg and Indian Head Cove.

                                                                                                                                                                Time:  132 hours

Arum Lilies:

Known arum sites were checked as we moved around the island. Because of the dry conditions, not many appeared to be carrying leaves and therefore most were not visible. One plant was removed from Halfway, five clumps from around Telstra Corner, one small one from Marty Jacks patch. Arum sites are marked with stakes left in place for 3 years or so, and checked regularly. Stakes are taken out if no regrowth is noted over a 2 - 3year period.                                                 Time:  4 hours


Known sites at Garden Cove, the residence compound area, as well as the Jetty Patch, a site in Indian Head Cove were all checked.  None were found in the area downhill of the generator shed. Neither were any found by the stake near the cattle yards. Nothing found at Garden Cove, nor were any at Indian Head Cove.  But about 100 horehound plants, plus a further 20- 30 carrying seed were found and removed from the Jetty Patch.

This was a nasty surprise. Horehound must be weeded three monthly, or it will be able to produce new seed. With seed of horehound remaining viable in the soil for 10 or more years, the progress due to the efforts of so many can be so easily lost. (This is a case of ‘one year’s seeding leads to 10 or more year’s weeding.) Guidelines for this weeding job are in the first page of the Weed Folder which is held in the Caretakers’ Residence; and the Weed Management Plan. Copies of this are in the Residence and the Museum.

Another factor may have been increasing grazing pressure by the wallabies which have progressively been fenced out of larger area of the slopes down to East Cove and are hungry. Vegetation around the area of Jetty Patch was noticeably more grazed than it had been previously – shorter, a bit sparser, and wallaby tracks wider. Perhaps this allowed more of the viable seed still stored in the soil to germinate.                                                                                                                                        Time:  6 hours

Mullein (creticum and great)

Fewer plants of both species of mullein were noted. One large rosette creticum was removed from the usual site at the eastern end of Garden Cove, and another, smaller one from the inland end of the track parallel to and east of Garden Cove Creek and a few great mullein rosettes from scattered sites. None with flowering spikes were noted.                                                                                Time:  2 hrs


Ragwort has been ‘the weed in waiting’ on Deal Island. We have spent much of our time managing other weeds on the island, and the ragwort was left until we have had time put major effort into its control. The main patches of ragwort were mapped during the bee. The big patch was mapped as covering 15ha. In this area the density of plants varied greatly, and there were many small rosettes, and the second year plants were just developing into the cabbage stage. Just a few were developing flowering spikes.  We set up markers for permanent transects to monitor condition and coverage of ragwort in the main patch.

A major effort was put into clearing by digging, as many plants as possible from all patches except for the main patch.  All were done thoroughly, except for View Hill, when we ran out of time. One interesting observation made in this area though, was that there were a number of plants which had crowns of large diameter with holes in their centres. We think these may have developed from where plants had been pulled without first loosening them in the soil. Super plants in the making! Something we must prevent developing.                                                                    Time:  95 hours

Revegetation and Erosion Control

Vic and Shirley collected some small casuarina seedlings and potted them up ready to plant out on less stable parts of the East Cove slopes when conditions are moister again. A few had been planted out at the last bee, with a success rate of about 50%. In the meantime, the new ones are held in the vegie garden where they can easily be watered at the same time as the vegies.               Time 6 hours


The Weed Management Plan for Deal Island was up-dated to reflect the current status of weeds. The document written to inform visitors about the work we have done in weed management and erosion control, and which has been displayed in the museum for the past few years has been up-dated. It is now titled ‘Progress with Weed Management on Deal Island: 2002 to Nov 2015’. Both took many hours to do. A copy of each was placed in the Reading Room.          (180 hours ‘off-island’)

Tools and equipment / Inventories

  • Inventories were completed of the herbicides and associated chemicals and associated Personal Protective Equipment which is held in the Paint Store.
  • Dabbers, secateurs and loppers were cleaned as required.  Before leaving, all equipment was cleaned, and stored as listed in the Weed Folder.
  • An inventory of herbicides, associated chemicals, weeding equipment and relevant personal protective equipment was conducted.        (See Appendix)                 Time to do these:  20 hours
  • Inventory of the food held on the island. 3 people x 3 hours                                      9 hours
  • Mapping, Searches and Photo points                                                                            105 hours

SUB-TOTAL – on Island work hours                                                                                                          399 hours

Travel Time                                                                                                                                                      240 hours

Associated tasks completed off Island:

  1. Planning the Bee                                                                                                                             200 hours
  2. Updating the Weed Management Plan and the Progress Report                              180 hours
  3. Planning for the introduction of bio agents to aid control of ragwort                      40 hours

TOTAL                                                                                                                    1059 Hours

Appendix 1:

Inventory of weeding equipment, herbicides, associated chemicals and PPE (Nov 2015)

PPE (in boxes in roof space of paint store)

Tyvek Suits                 XL x 5                     M x 4

Respirators  P2GV (carbon filters)    3 packs x3            P2 respirators    4

Protective Glasses                  3 dark and 12 clear                                          **need more

Gloves                          Hyflex plus         3 assorted           Grey flexible 3 x S   6 x M   8 x L   3 x XL

Gloves          Timber Workers       5 x S      2 x M             2 x L       1 x XL     (need min. 5 each SML)**

Gloves                          Nitrile                                   M plenty                             L plenty 

Gloves                          Nitrile Gauntlets             2 x size 9              1 x size 8              ***need replacing

Gloves                          red gauntlets     2 x S       2 x L                       Leather gloves 2 x M   2 x L

Apron for mixing / decanting herbicides                      1

Techniflex waterproof trousers        1 x L       1 x XL    

Hi Viz vests 4 x M                     4 x L


Small garden forks  2              (kept in garden)                               1 with broken handle off island**

Loppers                        long handled x 1              (in Workshop)

Toolbox containing:

Folding saw                                x 2                         

4 Loppers, short handled:                    anvil x 2                                               bypass x 2

Secateurs Fiskars                     x 6      (3 x bypass, 3 x anvil)         Secateurs - Green handled         x 3

Secateurs Red / black handled          x 3          Secateurs yellow handled           x 2

Trowels, plastic                        x 1          trowels, metal  x4           Lever action weeders    x 8 PliersStanley knife plus blades x1     Hand mattock x 1             black rubber hammer x 1

Aprons / pouches for weeding tools x 6

Marking tape x 3 part rolls    dabbers plenty                sponges for dabbers    plenty

Tool cleaner, paper towel                   plenty

Weed stakes             40 +        woven weed bags           9                              **Need more

Weed wand               and        Weed –Brush    (roof space of paint store)

Knapsack spray units (15Litre)                           x 2          (roof space)       need checking**

Spray bottle (2Litre) x 1                        Brick Layers string x 5    

Thick plastic weed bags (veterinary mortuary bags)                1 X L;      2 x M     3 x S (roof space)

Strong garbage bags               2 packets of 3      1 x pack 50 garbags  **need more strong bags

Herbicides and chemicals

Kamba M                                     5 litre container                                               80% remaining

Brush-Off                                    40 gm sachets                                    one full, one old part full sachet

Fusilade                                       1 litre                                                    unopened

Tordon granules                       5 kg                                                        80%                        (not in current use)

Weed Master glyphosate 360            20 litre                                  near full

Garlon 600                                  5 litre                                                    70%

Pulse Penetrant                                       5 litre                                                    20%

Nufarm (non-ionic) Surfactant 600  5 litre                                    60%

Activator Surfactant                               5 litre                                                    60%

Lontrel                                                         1 ¼ litre

Kendon marker dye                                1 litre                                                    2 x full 

Resupply Needs

1 new 200gm container or sachet/s Brush-Off if ragwort is to be treated

Timber workers gloves - range of sizes depending on needs of workers

2 x graduated 1 litre bottles with water tight lids

Nitrile Gauntlets     2 x size 9              2 x size 8

***knapsack sprayer belonging to FODI is being used by caretakers to spray clove oil(?) on inside of lighthouse. What effect will this have on herbicides and how to clean?





  1. ·         Unpacked lighthouse signal flags previously stored in old wooden chest beneath glass display case in Lighthouse Room (Room 3).  44 customised canisters cut to measure from poly drainage pipe (150ml) for the purpose of storing individual lighthouse signal flags.  Each canister fitted with an air-tight cap at each end.  A signal flag identification sticker applied to each canister to denote the flag contained therein.  Each flag canister has been placed in its allocated pigeon hole in the Lighthouse Flag Cupboard  (Room 1).  A customised cradle made to hold the larger canister which contains the semaphore flags – situated on top of flag cupboard.
  1. ·         Listing of Deal Island Lightkeepers – an updated chronological listing of serving lightkeepers placed on desk in Room 1 (laminated and in standing frame).


  1. ·         Information booklets (prepared and laminated by Shirley Baker prior to working-bee) were placed in magazine holders in Reading/History Room (Room 6).

“Victorian Field Naturalists’ Visit to the Kent Group”

“Billy Vincent” – Stories from Deal

“Bass Strait – Australia’s Last Frontier” – Aust Broadcasting Commission 1969



  1. ·         Media (newspaper) articles pertaining to Deal Island were laminated (A3) and added to Media Folder in Reading/History Room (Room 6).

“The Real Deal” – Sunday Examiner

“Deal of a Lifetime for Couple” – The Gazette

“Cataloguing Island’s Past” – Saturday Examiner

“Lighthouse that Shone a Beam on History” – Weekend Australian


  1. ·         3 personal journals by Trauti Reynolds (photocopied courtesy of Melissa Smith, Arts Tasmania, and laminated by Shirley Baker prior to transportation to Deal Island) were prepared to be placed in A3, three-ring binders, i.e. hole punched by hand.  All three journals are now available for public access in Reading/History Room (Room 6).  Trauti Reynolds’ original journals (donated to Kent Group Museum 2014) are now in safe and appropriate storage in the Bass Strait Maritime Centre, Devonport.  Kent Group Museum acknowledge the Bass Strait Maritime Centre for their ready assistance.
    1. o   “Deal Revisited – Working Bees FoDI Volunteers”
    2. o   “Deal Island Summer Caretaking – Dec 2000-mid Jan 2001”
    3. o   “100 Days in the Lives of The Deal Island Caretakers – Sept-Dec 2002


  1. ·       Lionel Lawrence photographic collection – 175 photographic images printed prior to working bee were collated, arranged according to subject matter, arranged and attached to A4 paper, laminated (back to back), displayed in Reading/History Room.  Images were divided into two albums before being bound into booklets (albums).  This album contains historic images, and images from Lionel’s years as an employee of Commonwealth Lighthouse Service/Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
  1. ·         AMSA (Lyndon O’Grady) photographic collection – a small collection of historic and Commonwealth Lighthouse Service/Australian Maritime Safety Authority images from Deal Island.  Images sorted into subject matter, fixed to A4 paper, laminated back to back and bound into information (album) booklet.   Displayed in Reading/History Room (Room 6).
  1. ·         “The Brown Story – Charles Christian Brown, Deal Island 1888-1903” – Brown Family history and 30 photographic images by Judy Jacques.  Charles Christian Brown, Head Lightkeeper, Deal Island 1888-1903.  Images sorted by subject matter and images from the Victorian Field Naturalists’ Visit to the Kent Group which took place whilst the Brown Family lived on the Lightstation, Deal Island.


  1. ·         Stephen Murray-Smith Plaque – stainless steel (A3 size) plaque of acknowledgement to Dr Stephen Murray-Smith from Friends of Deal Island Wildcare Inc, in recognition of Stephen Murray-Smith’s effort in heading the campaign to save the Superintendent’s Cottage on Deal Island from demolition and being instrumental in setting up the museum in the early 1970’s.  (By permission Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service Northern Office – text on plaque courtesy of David Murray-Smith).

A timber frame was built and attached to the back of the stainless steel frame to accommodate picture wire before it was hung on an existing nail in Room 3.


  1. ·         A cast iron cauldron (donated as prop) was transported to Deal Island with this working bee and hung from a fireplace crossbar (iron) on an ornate hook (iron) in the fireplace of the kitchen of the Superintendent’s Cottage to further the kitchen character.


Very early this year (2015) a remark was made by a volunteer caretaker on Deal Island that they had read a notation in the Caretaker’s Journal which recorded an attempt to “clean” interpretation banners in the museum.  It was also noted that some “damage” had been incurred. 

On inspection of the interpretation banners during the November working bee it was evident that three banners had sustained damage from an attempt to clean them – most likely with a moistened cloth and/or cleaning spray.

On closer examination it was evident that all the banners, except for the Wallpaper banner had mould growth on them – some to a much greater extent than others.  Most particularly, the mould spores appeared on the darker coloured areas of the banners.  This, of course, has been a most disappointing discovery and not something which was expected. 

As is so often the case, mobile phone service was extremely poor during our stay on the island in November.  However, I did manage a call to Arts Tasmania Roving Curator Melissa Smith who worked with FoDI members on the Interpretation Plan Project for the Kent Group Museum.  Melissa generously made calls to Fuji Xerox who printed the banners for the project.  Fuji Xerox are quite nonplussed by the extent of mould which has attached to the banners as they feel certain that the inks used in printing are not primary agent in attracting the mould.  It was recommended that I try a solution of vinegar and water to “clean” the mould from the banners.  However, on testing a very small patch, the solution immediately took the colour from the print as did a test trial with pure water. 

Our only option for removing the surface mould was to wait for a fine day which allowed carrying the banners out into open air where three working-bee members took several hours, dressed in face masks and cover-up clothing, used dry microfiber cloth to wipe the surface spores from the banner faces.  Unfortunately, although the day was fine, a strength of wind did not allow for the banners to be left outdoors for a period of time in sunlight.  Our hope is that the banners will remain looking “presentable” through the summer months when the highest number of visitors will come to Deal Island.

As three banners have sustained damage from an attempt at cleaning by a well-meaning caretaker, and all but one banner have sustained staining from mould spores, the most logical option is for the banners to be reprinted by Fuji Xerox at some time in the future.  Negotiations are ongoing with Fuji Xerox at this point in time re reprinting and the possibility of having new banners laminated which will eliminate the problem of mould spores adhering to the banner face.  A laminated surface may be “cleaned down” with an anti-mould solution if necessary.

It is a shame that the presence of mould spores was not communicated to FoDI in the first instance.  Dealing with the mould situation would have been more effectively managed had there been forewarning and time for appropriate research into methods of eradication. 

Once again, I request that Deal Island Volunteer Caretakers be formally requested to undertake at least one general inspection and one general housekeeping task in the museum during their three month term. 

Images below showing damage to banners by attempted “cleaning” earlier this year.

Images below showing mould on interpretation banner faces.



  1. ·         Two skylights fitted to roof of Superintendent’s Cottage were comprehensively measured and drawn up – to be submitted for quotes for construction and fitting of new replacement skylights.  (Stuart Dudgeon – Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service).


  1. ·         A section of rotted lathes, accessible through a plaster hole in hallway (Room 2) were removed and replaced with new lathes and screwed into place.


  1. ·         2 replacement dehumidifiers were placed inside the John Hague rocking chair case.  No obvious signs of mould inside case or on chair.


  1. ·         A new collection item has been donated to the Kent Group Museum and was placed in the museum with all information attached.  “Murray Pass Crayfish Crawl 1989” tray which was awarded to winner by Shirley Gray, wife of Head Lightkeeper Stan Gray.  Donated to Kent Group Museum by Carol and Wynne Hobson.  Exhibited in glass cabinet Room 5.


  1. ·         All surfaces of the museum were wiped down and exposed items dusted.  Floor surfaces were thoroughly vacuumed.  Due to humid weather conditions it was decided not to wet-mop floor surfaces this visit – especially in light of the mould growth which was evident on banner surfaces when we arrived.


  1. ·         A complete inventory was made of FoDI’s Kent Group Museum Kit and Cleaning Kit and all items repacked into crates and stored in locked cupboard in visitor house.


  1. ·         FoDI chainsaw was comprehensively serviced.
  2. ·         FoDI brush-cutter was comprehensively serviced.


  1. ·         A complete listing of FoDI assets was undertaken – to be put onto Register.


  1. ·         Repair was made to the rails of the “cattle yard” fence adjacent to the vegetable garden – rails had fallen and let to remain on the ground. 
  2. ·         Wire netting was repaired and added to the guttering of the Generator Shed to prohibit access by Starlings which were nesting, once again, in the eaves of the shed.


  1. ·         Deal Island Lighthouse was visited and inspected by members of the working-bee.  The tower continues to deteriorate and is in urgent need of maintenance and repair.


Sunday 8th Nov, p.m.

All volunteers on East Cove – thistles

Monday 9th Nov

S&D – 8 hours as per above

Tuesday 10th Nov

All volunteers on Winter Cove Track – Ragwort

S&D to Winter Cove – Sea Spurge

S&D returned to compound – 2 ½ hours as per above

Wednesday 11th Nov

S&D – 8 hours as per above

Thursday 12th Nov

S&D – 8 hours as per above

Friday 13th Nov

All volunteers up Lighthouse Road – looked for Arums at Halfway House

Lighthouse inspection

S&D returned to compound – 2 hours as per above

Saturday 14th Nov

S&D and Stuart – 8 hours as per above

Vic – 1 hour as per above

Sunday 15th Nov

All volunteers to Garden Cove

Monday 16th Nov

Visitor house – pack and clean – finish-off jobs




November 1, 2015

In January this year (2015) a sizeable piece of outer render fell from the Deal tower exposing inner rubble to full exposure to the harsh weather conditions which sweep Deal Island.  Friends of Deal Island have been in communication with Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, State Government of Tasmania, Federal politicians and, on Thursday of last week, took the plight of this historic old tower to the Australian Prime Minister, Mr Malcolm Turnbull.  
To date, there has been no decision made, nor any action taken, to execute a repair to this significantly historic tower.   This level of damage requires urgent repair - in this instance, time is the worst enemy of the Deal Island Lighthouse tower.  Your support in this matter through lobbying of State/Federal authorities is urged by Friends of Deal Island.




Working Bee April:  seven of us spent 15 days on the island to  weed regrowth sea spurge as well as the other weeds in the program.  This was the 9th complete weed through of Garden Cove and spurge plants are getting hard to find.  It was the 3rd complete sweep through East Cove, and you can certainly see the difference.  The top boundary fence of the East Cove enclosure was relocated to extend it up to the compound fence. This will protect further revegetation and help control storm water run-off on the slopes.  A few seedling she-oaks and saltbush were collected for planting out in spring.  The full report is available on the Friends of Deal Island website.


 The motley crew from April 2015.

Lighthouse:  Dallas continues to seek political support for the restoration of the lighthouse especially now that a large piece of the outer render has fallen from the tower.  Without the grant and logistical support ASAP this damage will escalate.  Dallas recently replied to AMSA's facebook page showing their restoration of many of the Australian lighthouses still under AMSA management.  Worth looking at to see what good restoration can do to a lighthouse.  Dallas mentioned that FoDI had been trying to attract funding to restore the Deal Island Lighthouse, without success.  Back came the reply, "Hi, Dallas, the Deal Island Lighthouse is owned by the State Government of Tasmania and is not an AMSA light".  How quick they forget.  It was an AMSA light from the formation of AMSA until approx. the year 2000.  There is a big price to pay for a remote location and a low voting power. These and other difficulties only strengthen our endeavours to succeed.  Watch this space.

Kent Group Museum - Shirley Baker:  Thank you to Deal Island Volunteer Caretakers who have taken the time to maintain “housework” in the museum – it is much appreciated by Friends of Deal Island, the museum and myself.  Regular dusting, sweeping and washing of floors and surfaces goes a long way to discouraging the presence of silverfish and other vermin.

It has been most encouraging in recent months to receive communication from a range of people who have lived on the Deal Island lightstation, visited, or are descended from those who have worked on the Deal Island light.

Since the Kent Group Museum was listed as a Tasmanian Small Museum, there has been a steady in-flow of information, photographic material and collection items made available for the museum catalogue.  Obviously, persons who hold such material feel secure in donating back to the museum in the knowledge that such material is safeguarded by formalised documentation.  Most of these communications have been made through the Friends of Deal Island Website and Facebook page.

Website:                                                                                                                         Facebook:                Friends of Deal Island                                                                                                                                                                              Kent Group Museum Online Catalogue:               Go to search box enter Kent Group museum                                                                                                                                 Click on The Kent Group Museum (Deal Island)              Next to one of the collection items, go to home page.

Volunteer Day Mt Nelson: On 13th May, a combined ‘thank you’ event for volunteers of southern Tasmania who work in natural area management was held in the fascinating energy efficient Greening Australia building.


In her welcome to the gathering, Ruth Osborne from NRM South read the following quote:


We thought this was a good reflection on so many Wildcare volunteers who devote their efforts to making a difference in all the amazing bits of Tassie in which we are privileged to volunteer.

General Meeting: Our next meeting is to be held on Wednesday 17 June at Hotel Soho, 124 Davey Street, Hobart. It will run from 5.30 to 7.00 pm and followed by a counter tea for those who would like to stay and chat for a while.  Order your meal at the bar when you arrive. Please come and join us and help continue our work.

New Merchandise:  If you have seen recent displays about Wildcare volunteers on islands, you would have noticed Kate Hansford’s beautiful print of Maatsuyker Island. She has now done one focusing on Deal Is.  The central illustration is the Deal lighthouse in its environs atop cliffs as seen from the start of the lighthouse track. A goose flies overhead, and the design also features yellow twin leaf flowers and a flame robin. A copy will be on display at the General Meeting. Both prints come in a range of sizes from greeting card to 500mm square and will be available through the website soon - and cookbooks, caps, and beanies as well.

Renew your Wildcare membership:  Quick tip - It's a lot easier to renew you Wildcare membership before you renew your Parks and Wildlife Annual Car Pass. If you do, simply quote your Wildcare number and you will receive a discount on your Park Pass. Please be patient – the new Wildcare website is having some teething trouble!


ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING                                                                                                           

The AGM was held at Hotel Soho on 5th February with a meagre 11 members present. Dallas Baker stepped down as President after 7 years. He will stay on as a committee member and continue working to have the Deal lightstation recognised on the national heritage list, and the lighthouse restored. Bob Tyson was elected as the next President.

Shirley Baker also indicated her intention to step down from the position of Treasurer, but to smooth the transition, will continue in that capacity until the end of June this year.  She will also continue her work in the museum.

The position of secretary is also vacant and in the meantime, Bob is covering that position too. So please, if anyone out there would like to assist with either position, please let Bob know. We are achieving wonderful results in the field, but need some more support to continue our success. The FoDI committee would also benefit with the inclusion of someone to work with Bob to help with seeking funding opportunities and writing the applications, someone to look for promotional opportunities or funding opportunities; or people to help with planning weed control. Penny has taken on the job of newsletter editor.

Dallas, in his President’s Report, referred to the achievements made by FoDI during his time as president. A major amount of work has been done on the island’s infrastructure. Much of the water supply system has been replaced and buildings have been cleaned, painted and repaired. The visitor’s house has been fitted out, and equipment such as the pull-behind mower, chainsaw and brush-cutter supplied. Various fencing projects have been completed, and considerable progress has been made with weed management. Shirley and Dallas have put in a huge effort in organising working bees and an enormous effort planning and conducting fund raising activities to support our work.

Shirley has spent many hours cataloguing the artefacts in the museum, and also storing, repairing, cleaning and displaying them. In addition, she has prepared interpretive banners about the island and aspects of its history. These now form a major part of the display. She intends to continue her work in developing the museum.

Together with the PWS volunteer caretaker program, FoDI and its predecessor Friends of the Kent Group have made a huge contribution towards the management of Deal Island. Since 2002, 18 working bees averaging 18 days, and involving 71 different people have been held on the island. The 2600 person days of voluntary work provided by these bees have resulted in great progress towards achieving the vision for the island as outlined in the management plan, which states in part that…..

´A future visitor to the park should find an intact, well presented light station on Deal Island, healthy natural biodiversity free of exotic species (both flora and fauna) and viable populations of all indigenous species´…..

Great progress has also been made towards achieving this vision in the sphere of weed management. Horehound and arum infestations have almost disappeared, marram and weedy cumbungi eliminated, thistle infestations much reduced, and sea spurge almost gone from Garden Cove and considerably less in East Cove.

Without the contribution of people like Dallas and Shirley, such progress would not have been possible.

Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2015:

This was another wonderful wooden boat event. The three Friends of Lighthouse groups (FoDI, FoTI and FoMI) held stalls at the festival to promote and raise money to support the work we do.  But unfortunately for us, we all were placed on the fringe looking into Salamanca Place, left out of the program, left off the map, and unknown in the information booths, so had a quiet time.  However, thanks to the willing band of helpers, we did manage to round up enough customers to raise over $2,000, and we received nice donation from the organisers.  Thank you to all those who bought raffle tickets and especially those who sold tickets before the festival and at the festival.  Well done all!  The prize winners were;1st Prize - Helicopter trip to Tasman Island: Anthea Barrow           3rd Prize - Wilderness Cruise: Robert Hogan
2nd Prize - Peppermint Bay cruise: Maureen O'Connor                        4th Prize - Willie Smith's lunch & cider: Mr & Mrs McGee (NSW)

Grants and Working Bees:

The first working bee for the year will be held from 13th to 27th April.  Three members of the team of 8 are first timers. We intend to continue the practice of including newcomers in future bees.  The main focus will be weeding, with sea spurge regrowth the main target, but also to follow up all other weeds.  (Photo is of 6 months regrowth which followed the removal of the last seedy spurge on the slopes above East Cove.) This working bee will be funded mainly by a grant from Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife, plus the usual member contributions.  We will also do some preparation for work on ragwort control, which is being funded by an Australian Government 25 years of Landcare Anniversary Grant.  As well as physical removal and using herbicide, we are investigating the possibility of using biological control agents for ragwort.  We have sufficient funds in the two grants to cover the second working bee this year, and one in 2016.

News from Deal: interesting orchid sightings, a heavy rain event, and wallabies still excluded!

In 2013 spring caretakers Spud and Kim Murphy found a beautiful tall hyacinth orchid (Dipodium roseum). It was the first time in quite a number of years that this species has been recorded. This year they revisited the site, and found that the same plant was sending up a new spike of flowers. In another area, they also found another population of the rare orange-tip caladenia (Caladenia aurantiaca).

Spud and Kim also reported a heavy rain event which followed an extended period of dry weather. Rain landing on the slopes towards East Cove wasn’t taken up by the dry sandy soil, but flowed downhill, carrying sand and debris across the road and the beach into the sea. It is only 12 months since the mature spurge was removed from these slopes, and 18 months since the wallabies were fenced out of the area.(They still respect our fences!) Vegetation on the slopes is recovering well. But we will need to do further remediation work to slow the direct flow of water down the slopes, and stabilise the sandy soil.

Quarterly Meetings:

As we did last year, we plan to hold meetings every 3 months, with the next meeting to be held on 28th May. Please come and join us, make your contribution to help continue our work. Details of venue and time will be circulated a couple of weeks before the event.

Renew your Wildcare membershipQuick tip - It's a lot easier to renew you Wildcare membership before you renew your Parks and Wildlife Annual Car Pass. If you do, simply quote your Wildcare number and you will receive a discount on your Park Pass. Please be patient – the new Wildcare website is having some teething trouble!

Penny and Bob Tyson