Monthly Archives

December 2020

Partnering up: Melbourne Water and the VGT dip into gorse management together

By News

The Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) has created a new online resource for any participant of a Melbourne Water program that has gorse on their property. The flyer details the legal obligations of having gorse in the Melbourne Water operating area, describes the negative impacts of having gorse and explains the control methods strengths and weaknesses in a snapshot.

The idea for tailored resources came after the VGT wanted to align their goals for the future of gorse management in Victoria with other key stakeholders and public land managers. This promotes an integrated approach to gorse management and demonstrates a shared responsibility between all public stakeholders to stop the spread of gorse in their operating areas. Melbourne Water has several programs that promote weed control to improve the quality of waterways across Victoria and the VGT was able to support this effort when it came to gorse management through an educational flyer.

“It’s been fantastic to collaborate with a major stakeholder such as Melbourne Water to ensure we bring a unified approach to gorse management across the state,” explains Brydie, the VGT Communications, Community Engagement and Extension Officer. The partnership with Melbourne Water is one the VGT plans to strengthen in 2021 and is an opportunity to continue to grow partnerships with other key stakeholders as well.

For more information about our programs, follow us on Facebook (@VictorianGorseTaskforce) and Instagram (@victorian_gorse_taskforce)

Grant assistance lends a helping hand for Snake Valley residents

By News

The 2018/2019 annual Community Grants Program run by the Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) is having lasting impacts in the Snake Valley community. 10 households received financial assistance to control their gorse and a recent visit to a selection of the sites by the Communications, Community Engagement and Extension Officer (CCEO), Brydie Murrihy, shows the continued commitment and dedication of the participants.

The Landcare group applied for a large grant that aimed to increase the community’s capacity to be actively engaged in long-term gorse control. To achieve this the participants were provided with current information on the economic, social, and environmental impacts of having gorse. The grant funded approximately 16 hectares of gorse across the remnant forests and paddocks of participants. A key partnership in the project was with the Pyrenees Shire Council who worked closely with the Landcare group to undertake gorse control on roadsides adjoining properties involved in the program.

One property owner in the program was former Snake Valley & District Land Protection Group member, Sue Mudford. Sue’s property had approximately 2 hectares of thick, mature gorse growing on fence lines and into paddocks. The gorse had been on the property for over 15 years, so a long-term concentrated effort was needed. Old, mature plants were along the adjoining roadsides and within the Snake Valley area. “This was a very big job which required continuous effort and commitment from us to reduce the infestation,” Sue explained to Brydie. Sue was able to manage approximately 50% of the infestation with the grant assistance from the VGT. It was clear from the property visit almost two years later that Sue has reduced her gorse infestation to a few small patches and is now very confident she will maintain control of her gorse.

For more information on VGT programs, please check out our social media pages being Facebook (@VicGorseTaskforce) and Instagram (@victorian_gorse_taskforce)

VGT launches online engagement

By News

COVID-19 altered everything this year and the Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) programs and engagement were no exception. Tasked with engaging residents about effective gorse control, the VGT created two online presentations and five short gorse management videos to keep landholders informed even during these uncertain times.

The ‘Virtual Demonstration Field Day” (VDFD) was created to replace four cancelled gorse control field days scheduled to run across Victoria, aimed to educate residents new to gorse control as well as correct common misconceptions to those more experienced.

The VDFD tool introduces you to the VGT, explains the 5 main components every gorse management plan should include, highlights commonly used control methods and details a contact list of stakeholders that may be available to assist and support if your considering tackling gorse on your property.

An “Introduction to Gorse” was presented by the VGT Extension Officer, Brydie Murrihy, via a live Zoom meeting. Brydie discussed gorse information such as the legal implications, gorse biology, ecological impacts and tips for identifying gorse against other native lookalike species.

The live Zoom meeting attracted a diverse range of stakeholders, all looking to educate themselves on the fundamentals of gorse. The presentation finished with a Q&A, which provided the VGT greater understanding of what the participants were interested in learning about and gave participants the opportunity to share their success stories.

The five short gorse management videos cover four of the main methods of controlling gorse and how gorse control is more effective when undertaken in collaboration with your neighbours.

The optimum time to treat gorse is now before it seeds, therefore the VGT are encouraging those with gorse to visit the VGT website and check out the presentations and videos for help.

For more information about our programs, follow us on Facebook @VictorianGorseTaskforce) and Instagram (@victorian_gorse_taskforce).

Extension services success despite COVID-19

By News

The Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) were able to continue delivering the extension services program to the Ballarat and Pipers Creek areas, despite COVID-19 restrictions. Abiding by the appropriate guidelines and practicing a safe social distance, 30 properties were visited by our Extension Officer, Brydie Murrihy, across 6 months.

So, what was involved in the property inspections? Brydie and the landholder inspected the property for gorse. Once gorse was located it was assessed, mapped and photographed. Brydie then offered and discussed appropriate control method options for each location or circumstance with the landholder. Brydie also offered advice for follow up control to maintain the gorse in the following years. Using the information gathered an extensive gorse management plan was offered to the landholder shortly after the visit.

For some landholders, extra resources were given such as the Best Practice Guide and the Glovebox Identification Guide to give to their neighbours. “The range of gorse infestation types and circumstances were vast and it was very positive to see landholders who only had small infestations wanting to treat it immediately,” Brydie explains, “It was nice to be able to assist those with large infestations as well because we understand how daunting it can be to start.”

The gorse management plans strategically planned out 3 years of control with the landholders needing to re-evaluate after that. The plans discussed the legal obligation of having gorse, the plants biology and ecological impacts, a map of the property’s gorse, the treatment plan, and any additional necessary contacts such as local councils, Landcare groups and contractors.

The VGT wants to thank all the participants involved for abiding by the safety guidelines and wishes them well on their gorse management journeys. For the most up to date information about the VGTs programs, please follow us on Facebook (@VictorianGorseTaskforce) and Instagram (@victorian_gorse_taskforce).