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Geelong Landcare Network update

Out-smarting the bunnies – potential release sites for new K5 virus
The new strain of Calicivirus - K5 – is due to be released in Australia in Autumn 2016. Landholders have the opportunity to offer their property as a potential release site to test the effectiveness and spread of the virus.

This would involve:
•  monitoring the spread and effectiveness of this disease (shooting rabbits and taking samples) 
•  methodical spotlight counts to assess rabbit population before, during and after release, and
•  working in a coordinated way with your neighbours. 

Does this sound like you? 

If so, please ring the Landcare Network (contact details below). 

Grants available
If you would like to do some fencing and revegetation along waterways on your property, we may be able to help. Grants are available through the ‘River Health Program’ which is funded by the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority. This program is designed to improve the water quality and health of our rivers by assisting landholders who wish to install fencing to exclude livestock from river banks and to re-plant with native vegetation.  If you’d like to know more, please contact us. 

Purple haze
If you notice tussock-shaped grasses in paddocks that have a purple or maroon color around the tops of the plants, it’s possible you’re looking at Serrated Tussock. 

If you are not sure whether you’ve got Serrated Tussock, now is a good time to walk through your property to check. It really stands out this time of year. 

The seed heads are a purple/maroon color and create a halo effect over the top of the tussock. The seed head turn golden brown when mature. 

When you find Serrated Tussocks, the best thing to do is chip them out or spray with glyphosate. If you also add some flupropanate to the spray, this will help to prevent new seeds germinating. If spot-spraying, remember to spray into the top and around the base of the entire tussock – each tussock is actually made up of multiple individual plants and if the spray misses any they won’t die. 

Get in touch if you’re not sure how to identify serrated tussock or what to do about it.

Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party
The AGM of the Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party was scheduled for November but has been deferred. New date to be announced. The VSTWP are looking for people interested in becoming a Community Representative on the Committee. The Committee meets quarterly. If you would like to attend the AGM or nominate someone to become a committee representative, please contact the VSTWP Executive Officer on (03) 5366 0000.

Get in touch
If you’re interested in information about landcare issues or activities, please get in touch (contact details below). There is a landcare stall at the Bannockburn Farmers Market on the first Saturday of the month - drop in and say hello. 

Having said that, there won’t be a landcare stall at the market on 2nd Jan but we will be there every other month in 2016. 

Elissa Ashton-Smith, Facilitator, 
Geelong Landcare Network
23 High St, Inverleigh, 3321

Ph 0438 525 502