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

Seasonal Weed Control – Autumn/Winter

The Land Management & Biodiversity team have been lucky enough to have Ben on loan from Councils Conservation Management Team over the Summer. Ben’s a keen botaniser and invasive plant enthusiast with years of on-ground experience in best practice weed management. Here’s some advice from Ben to help you get started planning your weed control over the coming cooler months..

Now that autumn is finally here after an extended summer, it is time to start thinking about weeds that will begin to show themselves with the changing conditions. We’ve finally had some rain, so a number of weed species will begin germinating and it will be time for weed control before you know it. Weeds that will begin to germinate with the autumn rains include Paterson’s Curse, Capeweed, Spear Thistle, Scotch thistle and Artichoke Thistle which are all listed, amongst others, under the Councils Pest Plant Local Law.

Depending on rainfall, seedlings and rosettes will be visible very soon, if not already. Early control as well as follow up treatment will be critical to stop seed set. Weeds such as Paterson’s Curse can begin to flower sporadically which means that seed set could occur sooner than you think.

Larger woody weeds will begin to become dormant as it gets colder so efforts on weed control are best focused on broadleaf weeds germinating over autumn and winter.

Plan your attack, look at what methods you want use and when. Talk to your neighbours. If they have the same weed issues, work together towards controlling weeds over the fence as well. Remember to treat any new weeds that appear on your property. Isolated plants can quickly become large infestations if not controlled. If you already have been controlling weeds on your property, keep up good work”.

If you need any further information on weed identification and seasonal control options, call 9217-2147.

 

Demonstration Day: Blackberry Control Techniques

VBT

&

 Whittlesea & Surrounds Blackberry Action Group (W&SBAG)

Present

‘Demonstrating Effective Blackberry Control Techniques’

 Date: Saturday 6th October- 9.30am – 12.30pm

Location: Eden Park

Morning tea and lunch provided.

Demonstration activities:

Drone spraying demonstration– Advanced UAV

Mulcher demonstration– Indigenous Design Environmental Services

Demonstrating the use of a spray rig– Chris Coburn –W&SBAG project officer

&

Information on current weed programs

RSVP by the 3rd October. Essential for location and catering purposes.

Contact Barton Roberts 0409 332 258 / vbt@vicblackberrytaskforce.com.au

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.

 

Register Now: Whittlesea Farm Chemical Users Course

The City of Whittlesea’s Green Connected Active and Landcare programs are bringing you a two-day, accredited Farm Chemical Users Course. The course is heavily subsidised at just $30 for both days (fully catered), usually costing around $250.

Don’t miss this opportunity to refresh or learn new skills in Integrated Pest Management, including safe and effective herbicide application. Topics covered include:

  • Pest plant and animal identification and control methods
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
  • label interpretation, chemical modes of action
  • animal health and welfare
  • chemical preparation, storage, transport, disposal and spill clean-up
  • Effective application including nozzle selection and calibration of spray equipment
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Legislation, regulations and industry standards
  • 1080 endorsement (optional at no extra charge)

 

For full details and to register, open the course flier HERE

National Landcare Grants Now Open

The Environment Small Grants provide up to $5 million in grants in 2017-18 to community, environment, and other groups to undertake natural resource management activities that improve the quality of the local environment.

Grants available: for projects between $5,000 and $50,000

Applications close: 5pm 19 March 2018

Project duration: 12 months

Eligible activities: one of more of the following activities

  • weed and pest animal control
  • fencing
  • erosion control
  • revegetation
  • education activities and raising community awareness/participation
  • access management
  • Indigenous land & sea country planning (only Indigenous groups can apply for these projects)
  • recording Indigenous ecological knowledge (only Indigenous groups can apply for these projects)
  • administration support related to the project.

Appendixes B & C in the guidelines provide details on eligible and ineligible expenditure.   Guidelines, application forms & more information: go to https://www.business.gov.au/Assistance/National-Landcare-Program-Environment-Small-Grants

Got an idea? Council can provide assistance with putting a grant application together. For further information, contact Councils Landcare Facilitator jane.juliff@whittlesea.vic.gov.au.

NationalLandcare

 

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.

 

UPDATE: Pest Plant Education & Compliance Program

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: ugln.projects@ugln.net

 

 

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.

Gorse Control