Council’s annual Blackberry Education and Compliance program is now in full swing. Earlier this summer, properties were sent a courtesy letter advising the commencement of the program and the requirement to control this noxious weed. For most land managers, this notice simply serves as a timely reminder to monitor and follow-up areas previously treated. Notices to comply will shortly be sent out to those properties yet to commence control.
This year, many land managers have chosen to sign-up to a voluntary 3-year property management plan offered by our local Whittlesea & Surrounds Blackberry Action Group (W&SBAG) and their project officer on the ground, Chris. You’ll be seeing the farmgate signs going up all over the place no doubt (see photos below). If you haven’t signed up yet and you’re within the target areas of Kinglake West, Humevale and Whittlesea, you can contact Chris by email to schedule a site visit: email@example.com
The annual Gorse program finished up recently and was a huge success. Only 35 properties were sent advisory notices, down from 66 properties in 2016. Of these, just 13 were issued notices to comply. The figures show that more and more property owners are recognising the benefits of integrated Gorse control, particularly from both a farm productivity and asset protection perspective. The image below shows very effective Gorse control on Commercial land in Wollert. While this land owner still has a way to go, it’s an impressive start and shows that the program seeks to engage commercial operators (as well as public land managers) to support the work private landowners are undertaking.
For further information, contact Councils Environment Protection Officer on 9217-2147.
The Upper Goulburn Landcare Network are running a subsidised Farm Chemical Users Course in February. The course runs over two Sundays and includes a 1080 endorsement. For course details see flier below.
This Saturday 25 November: Weed Control Networking Day
Hosted by the cities of Hume and Whittlesea and Mitchell Shire Council, the line-up includes presentations from:
- Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party
- Victorian Gorse Taskforce
- Dabyminga Blackberry Taskforce
- Tim Bloomfield: Pest Plant and Pest Animal Interactions
- Pat Connor: Weed Seed Spread and Precautions (including a vehicle hygiene demonstration over lunch)
- Whittlesea and Surrounds Blackberry Action Group
- Melbourne Water on Landholder Assistance Programs
The event will be facilitated by Terry Hubbard of the Strath Creek Landcare Group, Upper Goulburn, Victorian and National Landcare Networks and 2017 recipient of the Joan Kirner Landcare Award.
There’ll be a FREE sausage sizzle of gourmet Aroona sausages (100% grass-fed, preservative free beef) cooked by the Wandong Heathcote Junction Community Group.
So don’t miss out! Grab your ticket today using the following link:
Want to gain industry standard training in farm chemical use?
The City of Whittlesea is subsidising the cost for rural residents to update or become accredited farm chemical users. The course and permit usually costs around $250 but is available here, for just $50.
In this two-day course join a network of local rural landowners and learn about:
- Storage and handling
- Pest identification
- Modes of action
- Label interpretation
- Issues associated with chemical use
- Formulation types
- Weed and pest control application
- Animal health
- Transport and disposal
- Preparation and clean up procedures
- Recording procedures
By the completion of this course you will have the required Industry Quality Assurance Programs Training, necessary when applying for the Victorian Agriculture Chemical Users Permit (an ACUP is required for users of Schedule 7 and other Restricted Use Chemical Products).
Places are limited, so make sure to register via Eventbrite today!
Terms & Conditions: This course is only available to City of Whittlesea residents. Attendees may be asked to provide proof of residency upon entry.
Full catering provided
For more information please contact Katherine Whittaker on (03) 9217 2147 or email Katherine.Whittaker@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
Did you know that we now have our very own local Blackberry Action Group? With the support of the Victorian Blackberry Taskforce, this group will help our community achieve similar successes in Blackberry control to those being had by multiple community Blackberry Action Groups across the state.
Our new Blackberry Action Group will soon be busy putting together an action plan for the target areas in Humevale, Kinglake West and around Toorourrong Reservoir. The project facilitator will then engage property owners in those target areas, working to enlist as many volunteers as possible for the program. At the same time, Council will continue to support Blackberry control on private land through the pest plant education and compliance program. The formation of a Blackberry Action Group has also importantly created opportunities for greater advocacy for Blackberry control on public landholdings in those areas.
If you’d like further information or are interested in joining this exciting new community group, contact Councils Environment Protection Officer on 9217-2147.
You are invited to a free presentation by the Victorian Blackberry Taskforce:
Victorian Blackberry Taskforce Presentation
Venue: Whittlesea Community Activity Centre, 57-61 Laurel St, Whittlesea.
Date: January 19, 2017
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm (light supper provided)
The Victorian Blackberry Taskforce is one of four community pest groups established to support efforts to tackle blackberry across public and private land.
Blackberry is a designated Weed of National Significance which is a major threat to both agricultural production and the natural environment. Immediate control is imperative to achieve the community’s desire for long term, permanent control of this plant in the Whittlesea region.
The City of Whittlesea will be supporting a community led extension and awareness program funded by the Victorian Blackberry Taskforce.
The aim of the project is to reduce the growth and spread of blackberry on private land, and also on public/private land boundaries, by working together with all land managers to implement appropriate control measures.
To RSVP for this event , please call 9217-2147 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Feature image courtesy City of Whittlesea
Now is the perfect time to start controlling blackberries! Blackberries are a serious weed in the City of Whittlesea and every landowner must do their part to eradicate this plant. If you need information on how to control this plant you can download a blackberry factsheet or call Council’s Environment Protection Officer on ph:9217 2323.