Queensland Fruit Fly community Workshop

Nillumbik and Banyule Councils invite you to this community workshop to learn more about this horticultural pest and help develop a community approach to prevention, control, surveillance and eradication.

The workshop will be facilitated by Andrew Jessup, a consultant in fruit fly management and a fruit fly educator, who assists horticultural growers, exporters, regions and communities in pre- and post-harvest pest management and market access.

A serious threat to commercial fruit growers, hobby farmers, and home gardeners, the QFF lays her eggs in many common fruits, ‘fruiting vegetables’ and some native fruits. Inside the fruit, the growing larvae cause the flesh to rot, making it unsaleable and undesirable to eat. QFF populations can increase very quickly!

Working together, Nillumbik and Banyule residents can prevent the fruit fly. This workshop will provide practical ways to reduce the risk of the QFF finding a suitable home in our area.

Date and Time

Monday 17th February 2020
7pm - 9pm 


Nillumbik Shire Council
34 Civic Drive
Greensborough, Vic 3088


Summer Rural News now online

The latest edition of Rural News in now available to download.

In this edition we recap the 160th Whittlesea Show and our Land Management Forum from last November, raise some potential issues around importing supplementary feed for livestock, investigate regenerative agriculture and its potential for enhancing climate resilience in the peri-urban space, discuss some new research into creating artificial tree hollows and provide some results from the Rural News survey.

RN Summer2020

Update: Whittlesea Pest Animal Management (PAM) Program


Welcome back to the Land Management and Biodiversity site for the first blog post of 2020. Many thanks to those of you that have been in touch over the Christmas and New Year Period to report pest animal sightings and to talk about the great work that continues on your properties to manage invasive species.

It’s great to have finally commenced on-ground works for the project. Please see below key updates and links to additional reading of interest:

  • A professional vermin control contractor was approved prior to Christmas for the private property rabbit program. The contractor will be working directly with landowners from February to April to assist them with monitoring and control. Landowners that expressed interest and were visited in September 2019 for warren mapping will be contacted by the contractor in the next few weeks.
  • To learn more about the components of a successful integrated rabbit control program (including the importance of seasonal timing), visit the PestSmart Rabbit page HERE.
  • Surveys for deer and fox along the private property/public boundary of Kinglake National Park and Mount Disappointment State Forest were completed by Wurundjeri Narrap Rangers in November.
  • Professional contractors commenced meeting with landowners (including a community drop-in session) and undertook some control works in the deer target area in November for two weeks. Six properties were a part of the initial program, and this number has now increased to 15 holdings.  Contractors will return in May to continue control at the time of year when the greatest numbers are observed along the National Park and State Forest interface.
  • A professional vermin control contractor was approved just prior to Christmas for the fox control program and will commence work next week, liaising directly with landowners within the target areas. Further reading on fox management is available HERE .
  • Fox control on private properties near Toorourrong reservoir was undertaken in early January as part of the State government funded Conservation Futures program. This is the third and final year of funding for this program. The contractor removed 12 adult foxes, 3 juveniles and 3 feral cats. This number was considered to be quite low compared to previous years, with the contractor suggesting that the drought conditions may have contributed to a higher juvenile mortality rate.
  • The project working group consists of representatives from all project partners and stakeholders, being City of Whittlesea, DELWP Mount Disappointment staff, Parks Victoria Kinglake National Park Rangers, Melbourne Water, Wurundjeri Narrap Team, Friends of Toorourrong, Whittlesea & Surrounds Blackberry Action group and community member representatives. The working group meets quarterly and will hold the first meeting for 2020 in two weeks time.

Neighbouring landowners are encouraged to work together, continuing their annual pest animal monitoring and control programs to ensure that assistance from the PAM project results in the most effective, landscape-wide reduction in pest animal impacts. For more information, contact the PAM project lead Katherine Whittaker

This project has been funded by the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning program and is helping to ensure that Victoria’s natural environment is healthy, valued and actively cared for.


Community Drop-in Session

Community Drop-in Session


Whittlesea Community Activity Centre, 57-61 Laurel St, Whittlesea

11:00am – 1:30pm

If your property is within or adjacent to one of the below target areas (see map below), please join us for an informal chat about the current deer management program, and how your property can be included.

The programs’ deer harvesting contractor has had a great response from landowners so far and will be available to answer any questions you may have about operations.

A concerted effort across adjoining properties in key target areas will ensure the best effort at reducing deer numbers and impacts for biodiversity and agricultural protection. So please feel free to pass this invitation on to your neighbours.DeerTargetMap


This project is funded by the State Government

Climate Resilience: Regenerative Agriculture Research

Deakin University’s Centre for Regional and Rural Future’s (CeRRF) and the City of Whittlesea have formed an industry partnership to build on the successful Land Capability Assessment project with an investigation into the potential of Regenerative Agriculture systems.

The Regenerative Agriculture for Climate Resilience project considers the concept of Regenerative Agriculture and the potential of it to support transformative change for greater climate resilience of the cities and regional centres it surrounds and provides for.

All farmers across Victoria are invited to participate in this important research. This survey is the first stage of the project and is open to all farmers and agricultural practitioners across Victoria over 18 years old. As a part of the survey, we are asking for volunteers who would be interested in participating in the second stage of the research. This will involve a comprehensive field analysis and comparison between five Regenerative Agriculture farms and five conventional practice farms to consider key parameters, such as soil health, carbon composition and productivity. At the end of the survey, you will have the opportunity to opt into this further research stage. All farmers practicing all styles of farming, not only regenerative, are encouraged to be involved.

 Please click on the survey link to take the survey. The survey should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete. If clicking on the link does not work, please copy and paste the link below into your browser.


 If you would like to find out more about the project, please contact the PhD Research Student, Annemaree Docking on 0408 535 927 or via email adocking@deakin.edu.au or the Principal Researcher, Dr Robert Faggian on 03 9251 7327 or via email r.faggian@deakin.edu.au.

Free Event: Land Management Forum

You’re invited to a free Sustainable Land Management Forum, hosted by the City of Whittlesea, Mitchell Shire Council and Hume City Council. This years’ forum will see a collection of presentations (and a couple of demonstrations) covering the topics you asked for. Including:

  • Land Management Planning: Healthy Hectares (presented by Euroa Arboretum)
  • Serrated Tussock Identification & Management (Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party)
  • Gardens for Wildlife: Natives over weeds (presented by Hume Council)
  • The Granite Creek Project, Euroa: Community-led & Managed Integrated Rabbit Action (presented by Gecko cLan Network)
  • Chilean Needle Grass Identification and Vehicle Hygiene
  • Organic Weed Control: BioWeed, Benefits and Efficacy
  • Lobed Needle Grass: Identification and Management
  • Victorian Blackberry Taskforce

So rally your neighbours and join us for a day of learning and sharing (Morning Tea and Lunch provided). There are limited tickets available so register quick, more details on the Land Management Forum Flyer

Get your ticket HERE

 See you there

Have you spotted African Weed Orchid?

The highly invasive African Weed Orchid is beginning to flower through the Eden Park / Beveridge areas and now is the perfect time to correctly identify the plant and remove it. It tends to grow along roadsides, degraded pastures and tracks where is competes with native lilies, grasses and orchids. It doesn’t readily establish under tree canopy.

Fleshy leaves establish from an underground tuber in winter and flower from October to December. The orchid produces thousands of tiny dust like seeds which are spread considerable distance by wind and water.

African Weed Orchid sending up a flowering stem

Care should be taken when treating it to dig out all the underground bulbs. It is also known to grow in conjunction with native Onion Orchids (Microtis species) which is similar in appearance however do not have numerous leaves at the base and are more slender. Below shows the similarities between the invasive African Weed Orchid (left) and native Onion Orchid (right).


If you think you might have it and want it confirmed contact Mark Williams on 9217 2471 or you can email a picture to mark.williams@whittlesea.vic.gov.au


Local Opportunities and Information


Please find below some local land management and biodiversity opportunities and information that may be of interest, courtesy of Jane Juliff (Landcare Facilitator). As always, please share with your networks and if you have anything you would like to promote to other local groups/community, please feel free to forward to landcare@whittlesea.vic.gov.au.

Managing Serrated Tussock (and other needle grasses) and Artichoke Thistle

At this field day, local research agronomist Charles Grech from Paddock Solutions, will discuss how to control Serrated Tussock and other needle grasses using chemicals and management methods across small and broad scale applications.  He will also give advice on broadleaf weed management with specific advice about the control of artichoke thistle.

Saturday 19 October, 10am-2pm, Darraweit Guim

Further information: Refer to PPWCMA website here

Use of Nest Boxes in Victoria – Arthur Rylah Institute survey results and guides

Increasing our understanding of the number and distribution of nest boxes, use by animals and the level of monitoring.

Further information: refer to website here

Birdlife Australia October E-news

Spring is the time when Australia’s birds are on the move or settling down to nest, so now’s a great time to get out and enjoy our fascinating birdlife, especially by taking part in one of our activities during Bird Week (21–27 October).

Further information: to access the e-news click here

 Grants and Incentive Programs

City of Whittlesea’s Cultural Heritage Grants

Cultural Heritage Grants provide funding of up to $2000 to groups, organisations and individuals to assist in developing projects that promote the local history and cultural heritage of the City of Whittlesea and its residents.

Submissions invited from community groups and organisations who wish to participate in the diverse expression of ‘living heritage’ through events that celebrate, inform and engage the broader community with local history, culture, heritage and traditions.

Applications open – Friday 20 September 2019

Applications close – Monday 21 October 2019

Further information: for information on eligibility and how to apply click here

Melbourne Water Community Grants

Applications for this year’s round of community grants will be open from 2 September to 26 September 2019. Melbourne Water offer grants annually to volunteer community groups to support them to deliver waterway improvements on public land. Community groups can apply for support grants – up to $1,000 and project grants – up to $20,000.

Further information: for information on eligibility and how to apply click here

City of Whittlesea’s Community Development Grants Program 2019/20 Round Two

Grants of up to $5,000 are available to a broad range of not-for-profit community groups to run projects which directly benefit the City of Whittlesea community. Closes Sunday 29 September 2019.

Further information: for information on eligibility and how to apply click here

Sustainable Land Management Rebate Scheme

Applications are now open for the City of Whittlesea’s Sustainable Land Management Rebate Scheme (SLMRS) for the 2019-2021 rating periods.

Properties in the City of Whittlesea in Green Wedge, Green Wedge A and Rural Conservation zones that are at least 8 hectares in size may apply to participate in the scheme. Properties between 8 hectares and 50 hectares can receive a rebate of 20% off the general or farm rate and properties over 50 hectares can receive a rebate of 30%.

Further information: for information on eligibility and how to apply click here

 Environmental Works Grant

City of Whittlesea’s Environmental Works Grant Program is open for applications from 1 September to 30 November 2019. If your property is greater than 2 hectares and zoned for rural land use you are eligible to apply.

Further information: for information on eligibility and how to apply see the attached flyer EWGP2020 or click here

Update: Whittlesea Pest Animal Management (PAM) Program


Planning continues for seasonal pest animal control as part of the Whittlesea Pest Animal Management (PAM) Program. Here’s what’s happening;

  • Warren mapping was recently completed on 50 private properties, which will greatly assist contractors in determining the scope of rabbit control works,
  • Monitoring of deer and fox numbers along the private property/public boundary of Kinglake National Park is currently underway. Contractors are recording species, numbers and movements, which will help determine the effectiveness of control works on private property for mitigating fox and deer impacts on Kinglake National Park and Mount Disappointment,
  • Deer and fox control will take place prior to Christmas. Property owners within the target areas will be provided further details by both Council and the control contractor in advance of works commencing. For more information on Deer impacts and species identification, read our latest spring Rural News here
  • As per best practice guidelines, rabbit control will commence when numbers are at their lowest (late-summer/early autumn). More details on Integrated Rabbit Control can be found in the winter edition of Rural News here.

Neighbouring landowners are encouraged to work together, continuing their annual pest animal monitoring and control programs to ensure that assistance from the PAM project results in the most effective reduction in pest animal impacts. For more information, contact the PAM project lead Katherine.whittaker@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

This project has been funded by the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning program and is helping to ensure that Victoria’s natural environment is healthy, valued and actively cared for.