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

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

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.

RN Winter19

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.

The ‘Fast Break’ Climate e-newsletter

FastBreakImage

The Fast Break e-newsletter, produced by Agriculture Victoria (AgVic), details monthly climate driver activity and provides a three-month summary prediction of rainfall and temperature for Victoria.

Read the latest Fast Break Newsletter for Victoria and subscribe to receive it direct to your inbox, HERE.

Dale Grey, seasonal risk agronomist with the AgVic Grains team based in Bendigo has been working in the industry for two decades and produces the Fast Break newsletter. You can watch Dale in action discussing climate and seasonal outlooks for Victoria by subscribing to the Very Fast Break YouTube channel.

 

 

Complete a Gorse Survey and WIN

GorseControlled

The Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) uses government investment to establish and support community-led projects, which aim to eradicate gorse where possible across Victoria.

The purpose of this project is to gain an understanding of the types of support that communities need from VGT to manage gorse in their local areas. RM Consulting Group have been engaged by VGT to run the survey, which seeks information about work done on your property to control gorse

The results from this survey will help us identify opportunities where we can provide better support to you or your networks.

The survey should not take any more than 5 to 10 minutes to complete and you can go in the draw to win 1 of 3 Woolworths vouchers. The survey can be accessed via this link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VGTsurvey

Thank you for participating.

 

Don’t Miss Out: Get your Tickets today

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:

www.weedday.eventbrite.com.au

 

‘Checking Biodiversity Matters’

We’d like to thank Mark for sending in this inspiring account of trials and tribulations of land management over nearly two decades in Beveridge..

“After building our house approximately 17 years ago we finally moved to our piece of paradise in East Beveridge hills on 21 Acres of mainly cleared land with north & east facing slopes 400m up in the winds….

We set about organizing the areas around the house &  fencing off areas in the paddock, got some cattle to hopefully keep the pastures in check & help pay the rates. It seemed like it should work even though we both had “real” day jobs…..

10 years later of drought, depleting pastures (to almost looking like desert in summer), trees falling over, growing kangaroo populations, the day jobs taking all our time (including travel ling away)  we realized if we wanted to live by the motto of “leave the land better than when you found it” we had to do something a lot better. We got rid of the cattle to start with.

Approximately 6 years ago we set about communicating with the council & learning their thoughts on what best to do to get the land repaired & back on track & perhaps even establish some agribusiness eventually. One step at a time & first things first.

We attended various landcare & council workshops/field days & applied for the EWG (Environmental Works Grant) to help revegetate remnant areas to provide flora & fauna pathways & shelterbelts also to connect gullies from neighbouring properties & repair the entire property.

We know it’s been proven building biodiversity helps the whole property to recover & build health again. We have planted around 2000 plants, fenced areas off revegetation to discourage kangaroos camping & encourage other flora fauna etc, repaired erosion & pastures.

EasternGrey
Eastern Grey Kangaroo

After the daily mob of 100 kangaroos or so got used to things & stopped killing every plant we put in we saw some progress & noticed an increase in small lizards & birdlife numbers. Then we saw more echidnas & unfortunately wombats. We hadn’t seen jacky lizards for years especially after back Saturday & suddenly one day there was 3 of them sitting on the old fallen tree amongst our reveg area.

All of this got us interested on how we can measure the new growth in total biodiversity. We needed to benchmark from this point & monitor how things are going to see we are on the right track. After many a discussion with the council sustainability guys, other landholders & spotting the odd phascogale & sugar gliders we agreed for council to install their cameras for a couple of weeks to see what we could find. Much to everyone’s delight phascogales were photographed proving the new environment is supporting rare species & helping grow the balance needed for all to succeed.

Glider
Sugar Glider

We have monitored reveg areas growth with drone camera & are now monitoring areas with our own wildlife camera & it’s opened our eyes to exactly how much more wildlife other than wombats & kangaroos are around. We knew they were there but how many?

We have seen significant growth in both vegetation & wildlife mainly in the past 2-3 years after areas finally got established & have also seen pastures next to these areas improve as well with no application of lime or chemicals yet. We have discovered more critters are out there than we imagined & will now continue to monitor all areas of interest including installing nesting boxes (also available through EWG) for the phascogales & gliders, bats etc.

Thanks to the councils team who have been inspiring & encouraging all the way during this time.

The pests are still about…”

Fox
European Fox

All photos courtesy of M. Traynor