Removal of native vegetation

In Victoria, a permit is required to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation.  Native vegetation includes trees, shrubs, grasses and small flowering plants. These regulations are known as the Native Vegetation Permitted Clearing Regulations and are administrated by local councils through the Victorian Planning Provisions. There are exemptions to requiring a permit, for example, to maintain a fence line, but only for a certain amount. It is always best to speak to your local council’s environment officer or planning department before undertaking any works which may impact on native vegetation on your property. They will be able to provide advice and assistance to ensure that you follow the correct process and obtain the appropriate permit where required.

The other very important piece of legislation which protects native vegetation is the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). This is the Australian Government’s central piece of environmental legislation and it provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places, defined in the EPBC Act as matters of national environmental significance.

There are several matters of national environmental significance, however there are only a few which directly apply to the H11 H12 catchment area. The Australian Government has identified the Natural Temperate Grasslands, Grassy Eucalypt Woodland and Seasonal Herbaceous Wetlands as critically endangered ecological communities which are protected under the EPBC Act and which do exist within the catchment. This means that a person must not take an action that has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on any of these ecological communities without approval from the Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Energy (the Minister). There have been many reported cases of land managers being prosecuted and fined millions of dollars for clearing or disturbing EPBC protected native vegetation across Australia.

Landcare facilitators, local native vegetation experts and GHCMA staff can help you identify if you have any of the native vegetation species which may be covered by the EPBC Act. For further information on the EBPC Act please visit http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/publications/factsheet-epbc-act-frequently-asked-questions.

Remember, it is always best to seek advice and assistance from your local Landcare facilitator, local council environment staff or GHCMA staff prior to undertaking the removal of, or activities which will disturb native vegetation on your property.

BBCAG seeking NRM Projects

Do you live in the Lake Bolac Catchment region? Are you interested in undertaking a Natural Resource Management project and would like to apply for funding assistance?

Beyond Bolac Catchment Action Group is seeking Expression of Interests (EOI) from land managers for natural resource management projects within the H11 H12 sub-catchment area. There are a number of funding opportunities which arise throughout the year which BBCAG can apply for. By proactively identifying project ideas, BBCAG can greatly increase the chances of developing successful projects and receiving funding when made available.  The next round of Victorian Landcare Grants will open June/July this year. Projects that include the following on-ground works are encouraged to submit an EOI

  • Revegetation,
  • Riparian and wetland restoration,
  • Remnant vegetation protection,
  • Erosion control,
  • Salinity management and
  • Invasive plants and animal management

BBCAG is also interested if you have any ideas for workshop, forums or training covering Natural Resource Management or Sustainable Farming Practices and any ideas for innovative farm trials for sustainable practices.

The Expression of Interest (EOI) process is a starting point to plan projects and develop partnerships. Please note that an EOI is not a funding application, but it is a simple form intended to capture your project ideas. Beyond Bolac CAG’s facilitator will review the ideas and decide what projects can be developed into full project plans to be submitted for funding as opportunities arise.  Please feel free to download and complete the EOI form BBCAG NRM EOI Form April 2017 or email beyondbolac@outlook.com with your project ideas.

Volunteers Required

dianella-2016          chocolate-lily-2016

Beyond Bolac CAG is seeking help to weed the Native Grass Plantation on the Foreshore at Lake Bolac. The weeds, particularly the dreaded silver grass, have grown rapidly following recent heavy rain and we are looking for assistance to have the site presentable for the expected influx of summer visitors.

The plantation is really starting to fill out and develop well. Many of the natives are flowering and it is a treat to wander through the slope and have a close up look at the variety of locally propagated wildflowers and native grasses.

Many groups have worked hard at the site this year. In August, the Drought Relief Crew from Ararat spent a day weeding, preparing the site for LBC Yr 7 & 8 students to continue assisting with the planting schedule. The Green Army has also assisted twice this year. Thanks also to Ron Hogan who has spent many hours quietly chipping away, enjoying the beautiful setting beside the lake.

We are looking for local volunteers to put in two hours per week from 9:00 am – 11:00 am on Monday mornings until the beginning of December. Many hands make light work, and it will be a good opportunity to learn about the natives in our region and enjoy some social interaction.

Please phone Nolene Fraser on  0438 502 268 if you can help; the day and time can be altered to suit.

 

Beyond Bolac Biodiversity Blueprint

blueprint-cover

The Beyond Bolac Catchment Action Group have developed a Biodiversity Blueprint for the H11 H12 catchment which was funded by The Norman Wettenhall Foundation’s Landscape Restoration Project over the last 12 months. The Biodiversity Blueprint provides a snapshot of the current health of the catchment, a strategic plan and project wish list for the group to work towards over the next 5 years as well as a series of biodiversity maps.  The document will enable BBCAG to make decision on where to invest future funding and resources to achieve large scale, landscape restoration of the H11 H12 catchment area together with its many stakeholders. The Blueprint was launched at the premier of the Fiery Creek- Connecting the Catchment documentary by Beth Mellick from The Norman Wettenhall Foundation. Please contact Jileena to request a copy of the Beyond Bolac Biodiversity Blueprint.

New Date for Beyond Bolac AGM

The date for the upcoming Beyond Bolac Catchment Action Group AGM has been changed, the meeting will now be held on Monday 31st October, from 10am to 12 noon at the Lake Bolac Information and Business Center, 2110 Glenelg Hwy. Please let Jileena know if you will be attending by emailing beyondbolac@outlook.com or phone her on 0428 341 869.

Latest Newsletter is out

Here is the latest Beyond Bolac newsletter – Beyond Bolac newsletter Sept 2016

Meeting Minutes August 2015

Upper Hopkins News

Project Worker Wanted

Beyond Bolac Catchment Action Group is a landscape restoration project covering the catchments of the Fiery Creek, Lake Bolac and Salt Creeks – bringing together our farming communities and natural resource management groups.

With funding from The Norman Wettenhall Foundation, the group is looking for a Project Worker.

Requirements:

  • Current vehicle licence
  • Ability to work effectively and communicate with others in a co-operative environment
  • Field work and attend meetings
  • An interest and some experience in natural resource management
  • To implement the current Work Plan

Skills:

  • Good computer skills, especially mapping
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Tertiary qualifications an advantage

Please send CV and 2 references to:

David Allen, Boorook, 1731 Mortlake- Ararat Road, Mortlake Vic 3272

Applications Close Friday 7th August

 

Native Grass Planting and Working Bee

Here are photos from the Native Grass Planting and Working Bee on the Lake Bolac Foreshore, June 2015.

David Franklin of Grasslands Flora talking to yr 9 students about propagating native grasses and wildflowers, Lake Bolac Foreshore

David Franklin of Grasslands Flora talking to yr 9 students about propagating native grasses and wildflowers, Lake Bolac Foreshore

Energetic work on a cold day

Energetic work on a cold day

Volunteers spreading tan bark

Volunteers spreading tan bark

Working together, lots of fun

Working together, lots of fun

 

 

 

Careful planting

Careful planting

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Lake Bolac College students working alongside Yr 9 students from Gnurag-Gundidj Leadership School, Glenormiston Campus, spreading tanbark on the slope.

 

 

Native Grasses on Lake Bolac Foreshore

Native grasses on Lake Bolac foreshore that are regenerating after a hot burn in December 2014.

native grasses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand weeded and tan-barked section of the native grass and wildflower plantation on Lake Bolac foreshore. The bare section of slope in the distance is the area that was burnt in December 2014 to control the weed problem.

native grasses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Native grasses regenerating after the hot burn.

An Evening with the Birds

yellow-faced honeyeaterAn Evening with the Birds on April 14th 2015, starting at 6.30 for dinner at the Ararat Hotel. Guest speaker Rob Drummond will talk on bird photography and bird monitoring, followed by the Upper Hopkins Land Management Group’s AGM. This is a free event. Click here to download the flyer for more details AGM Flier