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Our Bush is NOT a Tip.


During the last month, Friends of the Bannockburn Bush (FOBB) members, with a massive effort from the local Scout groups and financial support from Ausnet, Golden Plains Shire and DELWP, managed to remove over 20 cubic metres of junk from the Bannockburn Bush.


FOBB members and Ausnet’s Nick Iwanov started at 8am and were joined by the Scouts and parents at 6:30pm. Nick shouted us all to Pizza and drinks at 8pm so it was a long and fruitful day. Although we combed the whole area pretty thoroughly we still missed a few camouflaged collections and since that time even more junk has been dumped. See main photograph. 



The good news is that the group of people that were camping illegally on March 19 and 20 and were the subject of three 000 calls have now been issued by the local police with a $303 penalty Notice for littering after they left their campsite in a disgusting condition.

We encourage sensible people to use (not abuse) the bush as much as you like for sensible, sensitive activities that don’t create a noise nuisance to scare wildlife, don’t damage native vegetation or cause erosion and don’t result in spreading weeds and vermin. 

If you are driving or walking in the area, please make a note of any suspicious activity and don’t hesitate to ring 000 and make a report. The local police are also keen to clean the place up and will attend and issue penalty notices if at all possible. They just can’t be everywhere at once and appreciate community support. 

Camping is not permitted.
Camping is not usually permitted in the Bannockburn Bush due to the lack of toilet facilities. The group that was fined left a very fly-swarming mess along with 3 big bags of bottles, cans and junk!  

However, if you have a legitimate reason for needing to camp, eg Scouting, Sled Dog racing, Bird watching etc, BEN and FOBB can issue you with a permit on the condition that you arrange toilet facilities, such as through Dunnys-R-Us. It’s not hard, it just needs planning.

Threatened Species Grant.  The Southern Triangle is now fenced.
Tim Ramm’s Rural Fencing has now finished fencing the Southern Triangle section of the bush including the Ausnet easement. They got fenced and gated and we got free pizza. The extension of Old Base Rd that leads south down to Harvey Rd has now been gated to prevent hooning and rubbish dumping. Security cameras have also been installed. If you need access to this area, please phone Stuart on M:0438 904 961 or email at stuartmccallum@westnet.com.au. Duplicate keys have been provided to the CFA, Golden Plains and BEN.

Soil Dumps to be removed by Golden Plains Shire
Golden Plains Shire has undertaken to remove the unsightly, weed-spreading soil dumps along Harvey Road. We were not able to continue the fence past these sections, but the Shire has agreed to complete the fencing once they have cleaned up the dumps and the former green waste site. This will be ‘mounded’ and revegetated and will be one of the main sites for planting on national Tree day on Sunday July 31.

National Tree Planting Day Sunday July 31
The FOBB nursery, run by Kate Constance has produced over 200 Yellow Gums which we will be planting out on Sunday July 31, National Tree Day we also have a selection of other threatened species to plant including Clover Glycine and Gold Dust wattle.  Book now to avoid missing out on this event as it will sell out very quickly.

BEN February Newsletter and Honeyeaters in a rut.
Last month I mentioned an upbeat article in the BEN newsletter by Emily Noble who had photographed Honeyeaters drinking at a muddy rut in the bush. We were horrified to find from the local Bannockburn Vic Community FB page shortly after, that some 4WD hoon had got himself bogged in it and turned it all to sludge.

This month I am happy to report that the recent rain has refilled it and the Honeyeaters are back and singing. The addition of a few logs has improved the habitat value of the rut significantly.

Further Bush Fencing.
We remind you all that the main block of the bush will also be fenced soon by the Geelong Green Army. Following this, there will be no vehicle access to the bush except for management vehicles and contractors. Access will still be possible for walkers, bicycles and horses.

We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause for those who enjoyed a quiet drive through the bush. However, we have been forced into this action by a steady stream of anti-social offenders who dump rubbish, shoot wildlife, tear up the native vegetation with dirt-bikes, spread weeds through dumped garden waste and generally constitute a public nuisance. We don’t need them in our bush. 

Firewood collection is not permitted… but.
As we have three commercial operators harvesting Sugar Gum from the reserve, private firewood gathering is no longer allowed. 

However we do have a need to thin out some sections of young Sugar gums and to reduce fuel load beneath habitat trees and this results in some surplus that the volunteers may take as compensation. We also need to clear the fence lines for the Green Army. If you would like to go on our volunteer list to help with this work send me an email:  stuartmccallum@westnet.com.au

Coming Events:

Monday April 11 and 18th. Future Landscapes. Biodiversity Action Planning Workshops to be held in Moorabool, Golden Plains, Ballarat and Pyrenees Shires. 2-4 pm. See: futurelandscapes.cultivate.org.au

Working Bee Sunday April 24, 10 – 3. There is bound to be something to do, probably relocating rocks.

Lake Bolac Eel Festival April 8-10. This is always a great event. See http://www.eelfestival.org.au/

Working Bee Sunday May 22 10 – 3

Working Bee Sunday June 19. 10 – 3.

Saturday July 23  will be our 19th Yellow Gum Flowering Festival.
It will be a day to celebrate our progress in protecting this wonderful reserve and promoting its importance to the wider community. We have very few places like this left. We must look after them, not just for our recreation and scientific study but also for the flora and fauna they support. Remember that there is less than 1% of this type of habitat remaining. All the rest has been destroyed for housing, roads, farming etc.

National Tree Planting Day Sunday July 31.  Details to follow but keep the day free.

Stuart McCallum
Friends of Bannockburn Bush