It’s Tussock Termination Time!

STplants

The state government is currently running their annual Serrated Tussock compliance program. Approximately 60 properties within the municipality are a part of the program and will shortly receive notices from the regional biosecurity officer. For larger properties with significant infestations, a site inspection followed by control is required to be undertaken by mid-August. For smaller properties, particularly in the residential areas of Whittlesea-township, notices will be sent out in August reminding landowners that it’s time to do their work.

Councils Land Management Team will be assisting the regional biosecurity officer in efforts to engage landowners and to register reports received from community members. Our annual roadside management program for Serrated Tussock will also be undertaken between July and August. If you’d like to report Serrated Tussock you’ve noticed on a property or the roadside, contact Katherine Whittaker on 9217-2147 or Katherine.whittaker@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

 

Farm Chemical Users Course: Register now!

P1210521

 

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!

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/farm-chemical-users-course-17th-24-june-tickets-34946130818

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

SERRATED TUSSOCK TRAVELLING IN FODDER ACROSS THE STATE

The Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party (VSTWP) is advising landowners to ensure fodder and hay purchased this summer and autumn is free of noxious weeds and in particular, Serrated Tussock (Nassella trichotoma).

THE VSTWP advises landowners to:

  • purchase stockfeed from reputable outlets and from areas outside of the serrated tussock core infestations around the fringes of northern and western Melbourne
  • feed out hay in designated feed-out areas, where any weed seed germination can be easily monitored
  • undertake machinery / vehicle hygiene practises

See below link to the Media Release from the Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party (VSTWP).

VSTWP Media Release March 2017

Lobed Needle Grass: How you can help

 

Lobed Needle Grass (LNG) is a tussock forming grass that can grow up to 1 metre high. It grows on clay soils and prefers wet depressions but can also be found growing on stony rises. LNG is native to Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. In the City of Whittlesea it can mainly be found in Epping, Mernda and Donnybrook.

This grass is closely related to the better known weeds such as Serrated Tussock (Nassella trichotoma) and Chilean Needle Grass Nasella neesiana. This is an unpalatable species that has the potential to outcompete its more familiar relatives.

In 1995, Lobed Needle Grass was officially recorded for the first time in Australia from a  specimen found in Thomastown! Even now, 21 years later, 94% of all records from Victoria for Lobed Needle Grass are found within the City of Whittlesea.

Due to the very restricted distribution of Lobed Needle Grass it was declared a State Prohibited Weed under the Conservation and Land Protection (CaLP) Act. This is the highest classification of noxious weeds in Victoria and as such the responsibility for eradicating State Prohibited Weeds falls to the State Government and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs Transport and Resources (DEDJTR).

The City of Whittlesea has recently received correspondence from the Minister for Agriculture that DEDJTR has made the decision that it will no longer be coordinating or funding works on Lobed Needle Grass as it no longer believes that it can be eradicated from the state.

The Minister has further advised that while there is no legal responsibility under the CaLP Act for individual landowners to attempt to control this grass that Council can advise landowners that ‘this is an undesirable plant that may impact on the use of the land and control will help to maintain good relations with neighbours.”

The City of Whittlesea considers Lobed Needle Grass to be a serious threat to agricultural and environmental values and working closely with the State Government to secure funding for Lobed Needle Grass on private property.

What can you do?

If you own a property that was previously part of the State Governments eradication program, Council Officers would like to talk to you. We are trying to assess the current distribution of Lobed Needle Grass within our borders.

If you suspect that you may have Lobed Needle Grass on your property and need help to identify it, feel free to contact the team. There’s also a useful I.D link here. The City of Whittlesea’s Land Management and Biodiversity Team will be preparing a fact sheet and a workshop in time for a Spring control campaign in 2017.