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June 2018

VGT Extension Program commences on the Bellarine Peninsula

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The Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) are running a community extension program on the Bellarine Peninsula in partnership with local community groups, the City of Greater Geelong and the State Government of Victoria.

The extension program will assist towards the goals of the Victorian Gorse Control Strategy 2014-19, raising awareness of gorse and endorsing the community-led approach to weed management. The aim of the extension program is to provide landowners with resources to confidently and voluntarily manage infestations of gorse on their property.

Despite the Bellarine Peninsula having had a steady decline in the amount of gorse over the years, there are still properties with moderate to high infestations. This has identified the area as a good target for extension services to keep up a steady reduction.

A contributing factor in the decline of gorse is the City of Greater Geelong, Bellarine Bayside Foreshore Committee of Management and VicRoads leading the way in treating gorse on public land. It can also be largely attributed to changing land use practices on private property (e.g. a growing viticulture industry and housing development), as well as strong community advocacy of the Bellarine Landcare Group, Bellarine Catchment Network and local ‘Friends of’ groups who have gorse removal as a top priority for their activities.

It is hoped that the addition of extension services will lead to an even greater reduction in the extent of gorse on the Bellarine Peninsula.

The extension program will offer landholders within the target area free property assessments, including an aerial property map detailing any gorse infestations located and tailored advice on gorse management for their land. A series of open community information sessions will also be offered to provide guideance to the broader Bellarine Peninsula community.

A second extension project is due to start in the Hepburn Shire in coming weeks. Keep an eye on our website or Facebook page for updates.

Targeted extension programs have been run by the Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party for a number of years, and have proven to increase landholder capacity and voluntary control of noxious weeds.

If you would like to be involved in the project, please contact Heidi Snow, VGT Extension Officer, on 0428 335 705

Additional resources on gorse control can be found on the Gorse Management section of our website.