Local Opportunities and Information

WhittleseaLandcare

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

Junior Landcare Grants: Now Open

Junior Landcare Grants – for schools, kinders, youth groups and more

The Victorian Department of Environment, Land Water & Planning (DELWP), in partnership with Landcare Australia, is giving schools, kindergartens, childcare centres, Scouts, Girl Guides and youth groups the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to $5,000 through the 2019 Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants. These grants offer funding for projects that seek to involve and educate young Victorians in valuing and actively caring for our natural environment.

Applications close: 3pm on Friday 21 June 2019
Type of projects supported by this program include:

·         On-ground projects that restore, protect, enhance, or develop habitat for native flora and fauna, and/or address threats to biodiversity e.g. weed invasion, habitat loss etc., and/or

·         Projects that increase opportunities for children to connect with their natural environment e.g. a school excursion to Healesville Sanctuary; and/or

·         Projects that educate and raise awareness, among young people, of the benefits and importance of biodiversity and a healthy environment, and/or how they can contribute to environmental improvement.

Click here for more information or contact Whittlesea’s Landcare Facilitator, Jane Juliff on  0417 127 841 or Landcare@whittlesea.vic.gov.au to discuss your project idea.

JuniorLandcareGrant

Bugged Out Festival October 14

On Sunday 14 October, head down with friends and family to City of Whittlesea’s FREE Bugged Out Festival (11am-3pm). You’ll get the chance to see some local bugs and reptiles up close, have a go at making traditional damper (and eat it with honey!), go on a nature scavenger hunt, hear different frog calls and even have the chance to win a FREE family pass to Museums Victoria. There will also be a $1 sausage sizzle hosted by Epping North Scout Group.

Council is moving towards waste free events and will be encouraging event goers to bring their own coffee cup and water bottle to use on the day. A water bottle refill station will be set up and you can grab a barista made coffee for $3! So don’t forget your reusables!!!

Hope to see you there.

BuggedoutJPG

 

 

2019 Environmental Works Program: Applications Open 1 September

EWG

Is your property greater than two hectares and zoned for rural land use? If yes, then you are eligible to apply for Council’s Environmental Works Grant Program 2019.

The Environmental Works Grant Program provides a financial incentive for rural landholders to protect and enhance Whittlesea’s biodiversity. Grants of up to $1500 are available for:

  • Fencing projects which permanently protect remnant vegetation from livestock
  • Fencing and planting around farm dams
  • Revegetation projects including shelterbelt establishment
  • Environmental weed control within areas of remnant vegetation.

Apply online: Details of the Program’s guidelines and the online application form can be accessed at Council’s website http://www.whittlesea.vic.gov.au (key word search “Environmental Works Grant”)

Contact: Jane Juliff, Landcare Facilitator on 0417 127 841 or jane.juliff@whittlesea.vic.gov.au for more information or to discuss a project idea.

Applications close 30 November 2018.

 

Rakali: the Australian “otter”

Rakali, the Australian water-rat, is an attractive and charismatic native rodent that tends to resemble an otter, rather than their pest relatives, the brown and the black rats. The amphibious mammal inhabits rivers, creeks and farm dams; however, they tend to be elusive, which may be why you haven’t spotted one before.

Rakali prefer waterbodies with low-growing dense vegetation close to the water’s edge, and occupy burrows located in creek and river banks, or large hollow logs near the water. They can grow relatively large and can be easily identified by their distinctive white-tipped tail. They are an apex predator in our waterways, with a varied diet including fish, insects, yabbies and waterbirds.

Once hunted for their soft fur, rakali populations declined dramatically until the mid-1900’s, when hunting ceased and populations were able to stabilise. Nowadays, the biggest threat to rakali populations are illegal fishing traps and nets left in waterways, which rakali get caught in and drown. They also experience predation by foxes, cats and dogs.

A recent study looked at 17 years’ worth of recorded rakali sightings across Victoria combining live-trapping and citizen science records. This information was used to examine rakali distribution and habitats. Live trapping upsteam of Toorourrong Reservoir, and records from the Atlas of Living Australia (https://www.ala.org.au/) showed rakali to be present in the City of Whittlesea, albeit in low numbers. Keep an eye out for one on your next visit to the reservoir, and remember to add your sighting to the Atlas of Living Australia.

If you are interested in learning more about the Australian water-rat, you can find the full report HERE. The Australian Platypus Conservancy are holding a rakali information session on Tuesday 24 July (for more information: gay.gallagher@bigpond.com) or call the Land Management and Biodiversity Team on 9217 2323 or 9217 2147 if you would like to report a rakali sighting or more information on how to make your property rakali-friendly.

 

Register Interest Now: Crowdfunding for Threatened Species

The Victorian Government is offering support for crowdfunding projects in 2018 to support threatened species and biodiversity conservation campaigns to a total of $116,000.

 Community groups and organisations can use crowdfunding as a unique opportunity to raise funds for threatened species and biodiversity action, while having their fundraising efforts matched by government, with funding up to $25,000 per successful campaign available.

Workshops will be available for interested groups to learn more about running successful crowdfunding campaigns.

The first step is to register your interest in developing a crowdfunding campaign in 2018 – do this online before 5pm Friday 16 March 2018. You will then be invited to participate in a workshop to develop your crowd funding campaign. If your campaign idea is approved, the Victorian Government will provide a $2,000 grant to support the development and running of the campaign.  If your approved project successfully reaches its crowdfunding campaign target, the Victorian Government will provide matched funding equal to the target, up to a maximum of $25,000. 

To register and access the guidelines, visit https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/grants/crowdfunding