Winter Rural News now online

The latest edition of Rural News is now available to download from our Blog.

In this edition learn about running an effective integrated rabbit control program, financial support for rural landowners, ripping to break up compacted soil prior to revegetation, the dangers of grazing too heavily following autumn rains, and how you can be involved in shaping Whittlesea’s water future.

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All rural landowners in Whittlesea will receive a copy in the mail. Contact Mark Williams (mark.williams@whittlesea.vic.gov.au, or call 9217-2471) to receive a hard copy.

Invitation: Help shape the future of water in Whittlesea

The City of Whittlesea is currently putting together a Community Panel for the Future of Water in Whittlesea. The Community Panel will bring together 15-20 community members with a range of backgrounds and interests, who are interested in helping to shape the future of water use in Whittlesea.  As food production and land management are an essential part of our future, it would be great to have representatives with knowledge and experience in the use of water in agriculture and land management to join the panel.

Whittlesea Community Panel Dates and Times:

  • Workshop 1: Wednesday 24 July, 6-9pm
  • Workshop 2: Wednesday 18 September, 6-9pm
  • Workshop 3: Wednesday 6 November, 6-9pm
  • Workshop 4: Wednesday 5 February, 6-9pm

Location: 25 Ferres Boulevard, City of Whittlesea Civic Centre, South Morang (Fountain View Room)
A light dinner will be served at 5:30pm for each of the workshops.

Community panellists will be provided all of the information they need to make an informed decision during the workshops.  Findings from the Community Panel will help shape the future strategy and action plan for water in Whittlesea.

If you are interested in joining the Whittlesea Community Panel for Water, please contact Stephanie Kuisma on 03 9217 2001 or email Stephanie.kuisma@whittlesea.vic.gov.au by Friday 19 July.

Have Your say

Integrated water management is an approach that uses our water resources more creatively and efficiently to become a water sensitive, liveable and future-proofed city.

Complete our water and community priorities survey and help us create our sustainable water future.

Results from the survey will guide the design of our neighbourhoods, inform our planning decisions and improve our water management assets and practices.

Participants can enter a draw to win one of five $100 Coles vouchers. View the terms and conditions.

Complete the survey

The survey closes at 12pm on Sunday 18 August 2019.

For more information, phone 9217 2212 or email fleur.anderson@whittlesea.vic.gov.au.

Landowners are putting the spotlight on rabbits

We’re excited to be receiving rabbit monitoring data from landowners who have signed up for the Whittlesea Pest Animal Management (PAM) Program. At the fox and rabbit control workshop back in March, landowners were given spreadsheets and instructions on how to undertake a spotlight count. This data will help direct control works and measure success of the 2019/20 summer rabbit control program. Contactors will be liaising with landholders directly between July and September to map and mark warrens across each of the properties.

Thanks to this landholder in Whittlesea who provided an accurate and detailed spotlight monitoring record sheet and perfect property map, which can be used to revisit the exercise after the control program is complete.

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For more information on standard best practice in rabbit control, click on the below image and watch this brief video put together by experts from the Victorian Rabbit Action Network (VRAN):

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For more information about PAM, contact Katherine.whittaker@whittlesea.vic.gov.au or jane.juliff@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

The Whittlesea PAM 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.

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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.

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Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan

The City of Whittlesea is developing its first Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan which will provide directions to improve the management and protection of biodiversity across the municipality.

Whittlesea 2040: A place for all is Council’s long-term vision for the future to ensure the City of Whittlesea remains a great place to live. Valued natural landscapes and biodiversity is identified as a key direction in the Whittlesea 2040 vision. The Strategy builds upon that theme with its overarching goal:

To Protect and Improve Local Biodiversity

To achieve this goal the Biodiversity Strategy sets out six broad objectives, to:

  • Improve our knowledge and understanding of local biodiversity
  • Manage Council land to reduce threats and improve habitat quality
  • Support rural landowners to protect and improve biodiversity on private land
  • Encourage awareness and participation in urban biodiversity and improvement
  • Strengthen the Planning Scheme to achieve better biodiversity outcomes
  • Collaborate with other land management agencies

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Importantly, biodiversity management is not something that can be managed by individual landowners, Council or government agencies in isolation. Collaboration will be essential to make a meaningful difference to biodiversity within the City of Whittlesea and beyond.

In implementing this Strategy, the City of Whittlesea will be committing to working with community and other agencies to ensure that our natural values are there for future generations.

Council is currently developing a series of actions (Action Plan) for each of the objectives above with the Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan due to be available for public comment on Council’s website from April 2019.

For further information contact Mark Williams on 9217 2471 or Mark.Williams@Whittlesea.vic.gov.au.