PPWCMA forges on
Plans for the merger of the PPWCMA, Melbourne Water and the Central Coastal Board have been shelved in line with the Victorian Liberal Government’s policy that the 10 CMAs across the State will remain in place. The PPWCMA, Melbourne Water and the Central Coastal Board had been working closely together through 2010 to prepare for the merger, but all have now returned to their normal business.
Our CMA has quickly returned its full attention to a range of activities to enhance land, water and biodiversity, though we are intent on retaining strong links with Melbourne Water and the Central Coastal Board that had been generated by working closely together through the past year.
The Port Phillip & Westernport CMA has developed a draft Port Phillip and Western Port Invasive Plants and Animals Strategy. The draft strategy is available on-line at the PPWCMA website here.
The draft strategy sets out principles and objectives to guide government agencies, industry and the community in the coordinated management of weeds and pest animals across the region. The strategy also outlines broad actions that are considered a priority.
A period of community consultation is being undertaken. The PPWCMA is inviting comment on the draft strategy from interested organisations, local governments, businesses, community groups, landholders and others.
Feedback can be submitted using an on-line survey found here upto 15th April 2011. The feedback will be analysed and used in the finalisation of the strategy. The final version of the strategy will be released in mid 2011.
For more information, contact Emmaline Froggattt or Mark Smith at the PPWCMA on 03 8781 7900.
The third edition (years 2012-2018) of the Port Phillip & Western Port Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS) is now under development.
So far, PPWCMA staff have been working with people from councils, government departments and community groups to identify important environmental assets including native vegetation, rural land, waterways, wetlands, coasts and marine environments. A ‘Model RCS’ has been developed to test what the RCS could contain and some examples of targets that might be set. The model has allowed the CMA to test a number of new ideas with the organisations that will be needed to implement the RCS.
A public draft of the RCS is expected later in 2011.
For more information on the RCS development, contact Emmaline Froggatt or Ian Morgans at the PPWCMA on 03 8781 7900.
Since July 2010, the PPWCMA has successfully secured over $12 million from the Victorian and Australian Governments to delivery priority projects within the region over the next three years.
Of this funding, the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country initiative approved nearly $3 million per year for 3 years to 6 projects. This includes $1 million per year to bring together regional agencies, councils and other land managers in a collaborative partnership to protect the internationally significant RAMSAR wetlands of Western Port & Port Phillip Bay (Western Shoreline) from pest plants and animals and other threatening processes.
Additionally, the Victorian Government has invested $3 million in seven projects. This includes over $750,000 towards a partnership between Landcare Networks & the Department of Primary Industry to continue the engagement, education and support of landholders in the Western Port catchment in the management of their land. The aim is to reduce sediments and nutrients from entering waterways; ultimately improving water quality in Western Port Bay.
We are now consulting with the Victorian Government and regional organisations to develop proposals to secure more funding for 2011/12.
For more information on the projects that have been funded, contact Stephen Thuan at the PPWCMA on 03 8781 7900.
The Australian Government’s Caring for our Country initiative has committed almost $2 million over three years to help protect and improve bush habitat for endangered native wildlife on Melbourne’s eastern fringe.
Much of the funding in the Habitat Protection and Conservation (HPAC) project will go towards fencing and enhancing natural bushland on private properties in target areas in the Yarra Ranges and southwards to the Western Port coast. The project is targeting vital habitat for the critically endangered Helmeted Honeyeater, the Leadbeaters Possum and the Southern Brown Bandicoot.
Landholders interested in more information about HPAC grants should contact Project Coordinator Adam Shalekoff on 03 8781 7962.
Following the Black Saturday fires of 2009, the PPWCMA received $2.5 million from the Australian Government’s Caring for Our Country initiative to assist in environmental recovery.
Through this project so far, 261 grants have been provided to private landholders to assist in environmental recovery and 13 projects have been funded to work across fire affected public land in the region.
The project is in its latter phase, but there is still a large amount of on-ground work taking place by the many landholders involved, particularly on activities to control pest plants and animals. This will continue over the coming months with the project due for completion in June 2011.
For more information on the work undertaken to assist bushfire recovery, contact Kacie Melfi at the PPWCMA on 03 8781 7900
With some of the funding from the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country program, the PPWCMA has developed a series of short documentaries focusing on land and environmental recovery after the Black Saturday bushfires. The videos address some of the common land management issues that private land holders could expect to face in the years following a bushfire.
The six parts of the series focus on native vegetation, weeds, native fauna, erosion, farm productivity and community recovery. Each part includes accounts of their experiences from local landholders affected by the Black Saturday fires and experts in land management.
The series will be available in the coming weeks to watch online via YouTube. It will be able to be accessed via a link on the PPWCMA website: www.ppwcma.vic.gov.au
The PPWCMA is pleased to announce more support for Landcare and community groups, with up to five Natural Resource Management (NRM) Coordinators to be employed across the region.
The focus of the NRM Coordinators will be to help community groups, including local landholders, design and deliver biodiversity, river health and land management projects.
Melbourne Water is a major co-investor in the new program. Funds from the Australian Government’s Landcare Facilitator initiative and the Victorian Government’s Vision for Werribee Plains initiative have also been secured and contribute to this program.
The NRM Coordinators will operate as a team under the guidance of the PPWCMA’s Regional Landcare Coordinator, collaborating on whole-of-region activities.
The new Werribee NRM Coordinator has recently started work with the PPWCMA. Emmanuelle Brunet will be working full-time out of the PPWCMA office in Sunbury. She can be contacted on 03 9218 5611 or email email@example.com.
For further information on the overall program, contact Doug Evans, PPWCMA Regional Landcare Coordinator on 03 9296 4662 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Grow West project is rejuvenating thousands of hectares of degraded land around the Bacchus Marsh area and was recently awarded the Mayors Award in the Moorabool Shire’s ‘Australia Day Community Event of the Year’ announcement.
The award specifically recognised the Grow West Community Planting Day, now in its fifth year, which has attracted more than 700 volunteers and planted over 35,000 indigenous seedlings. It offers locals the opportunity to come face-to-face with some of the environmental challenges landholders face, as well as gain insight on how revegetation work is having an impact in our water catchments.
The most recent planting day was on the Ingliston Park property near Ballan. This project has so far revegetated 110 hectares and fenced 12km of waterways.
The community planting day plays an important role for Grow West in achieving its long term goal to revegetate 10,000 hectares of degraded land and create biolinks between the Lerderderg State Park, Werribee Gorge State Park and Brisbane Ranges National Park.
The Grow West Community Planting Day is held each year in July.
For more information on Grow West, contact Tim Bloomfield or Helena Lindorff at the PPWCMA Sunbury office on 03 9218 5615 or Viv Charalambous at the Frankston office on 03 8781 7900.