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Friends of the Bannockburn Bush


Social and Traditional Media foils bush soil dumper
Thanks to the concern and vigilance of the local community, an alleged illegal soil spoil dumper has been identified and is now helping the Police, DELWP and the EPA with their enquiries.


After a spate of soil dumping incidents mid August, we re-positioned our security cameras and were able to get two good images of a local operator apparently dumping clay, rock and subsoil waste in the bush off Masons Road. 

A letter to the Geelong Advertiser and security camera images posted on Facebook soon led to the identification of the operator. Police, DELWP and the EPA have since gathered further evidence and conducted interviews. FOBB is very appreciative of the people who have contacted us with sightings of the vehicle concerned and we want to let all abusers of the bush know that our bush is watched and protected. By all means enjoy it, but if you do anything to spoil the pleasure of other users, you will be followed up. 

This includes those trail bike riders and 4WD drivers who think it is good sport to knock over the tree guards that are protecting trees planted by the local scouts and community members. 

Bush Dumping and weed invasion
One of the biggest threats to native vegetation is the weed burden invariably carried in the soil. Our photos of old and recent dumps show a rapid transition from bare soil to a rich weedscape of invasive weeds such as; Sow thistles, nettles, kikuyu, mallow, hemlock, winter grass, oxalis, aloe, capeweed couch, blanket weed and others. While the smothering is a big issue for the native plants underneath, the whole area can readily be invaded by the prolific seeding of the weeds.

Right: Weeds growing on a soil dump

If you MUST dump this sort of material illegally, at least do it along Harvey Rd where Golden Plains has set a poor example with their own spoil piles. They keep promising to clean this up but to date progress has been glacial. At least, with a bit of prompting, they do try and keep the weeds sprayed to limit invasion.

National Tree Day, Sunday July 31.
Thanks again to the Bannockburn and Lethbridge Scouts for their invaluable help on national Tree Day on July 31. We planted over 350 trees and shrubs in the sites previously logged of Sugar gums.

The trees are all growing very well thanks to the welcome rain over the last few weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

Green Army swings into action.
On August 23 and 25, the Green Army team did an excellent job repairing the front fence along the Bannockburn-Shelford road. Star pickets bent during the logging operations were replaced and the wires have been re-tensioned. They will return later in September-October to continue operations.

 

 

 

 

FOBB Interview on 94.7 The Pulse, Saturday August 20
The Pulse Dig-it program followed up our plea to identify the soil dumper with a radio interview. 

You can listen to a podcast at: www.cpod.org.au/media/16032.mp3  where we discuss many of the bush issues. 

Spring (11 – 13 November) on the Victorian Volcanic Plain: Native Grasslands, Stony Rises, Seasonal Wetlands and Salt Lakes.
Registrations are coming in quickly for the VVP Biosphere’s tour and the final program is now ready.

If you are free on the weekend of 11-13 November and fancy an interesting natural history weekend, please contact Stuart (stuartmccallum@wetnet.com.au) to register your interest. 

Firewood Collection.
If you need firewood, contact Bryan Cartledge 0412 746 868 who delivers Sustainable Sugar Gum harvested legitimately from the Bannockburn Bush plantations. Royalties flow back into maintaining the bush.

We still have a need for a few areas to be cleared of felled timber where we wish to replant so contact us if you wish to help with this work. We can issue you with a permit to keep the authorities off your back. 

New BEN website coming soon.
The Ballarat Environment network is working on a new style website “Our Earth Matters” to help engage with the urban and rural ‘uninformed’.  Social research by Federation University and CeRDI (Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation) shows enormous benefits to the health of a community through being involved with environmental matters. The new website portal will feature “portlets” on different themes that will make it easier for community members to participate in activities and appreciate their local green places.   See: www.cerdi.edu.au

Coming Events:
Sunday September 25. 10-3 Working Bee to remove the dumped junk and serrated tussock we have stockpiled at the end of Old Base Rd. We will have a rubbish skip funded by our friends at DELWP.

Stuart McCallum
Friends of Bannockburn Bush