Christmas Hills Landcare email news - 30th August 2010

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Greetings Christmas Hills Landcarers

This newsletter is to update you with news and events related to Christmas Hills Landcare.

Included in this newsletter:
    1. CHills Lounge - Friday, 3rd September
    2. Nillumbik roadside weed control program

3. Course in Farm Chemical use anyone interested in doing?
Community fauna monitoring funding application
    5. 2010 - 2011 CHLG membership
    6. Christmas Hills News - August edition
1. CHills Lounge - Friday, 3rd September
The CHills Lounge (Christmas Hills Community Happy Hour) is on again from 5:30pm onwards this Friday 3rd September at the Christmas Hills North Fire Brigade Station on the corner of Ridge and Muir Roads. A great way to meet and socialise with your neighbours, these are held on the first Friday of every month.

2. Nillumbik roadside weed control program
Nillumbik Council has some DPI funding for weed control specifically in the areas adjacent to the areas burnt in the February 2009 fires.

The objective of this funding is to reduce the spread of weeds into the fire affected area. Regionally prohibited or regionally controlled weed species are being targeted (see list of species below)
The program is generally targeting roadsides within about 5km of the burnt area (within the Landcare group's area this is down to about Simpsons Road) and leading into it, however for weed species that are spread by birds (ie typically have berries) the target area can extend up to 20km from the burnt area (ie all of Christmas Hills).
If you know of roadside infestations of any of these species please notify Brad Tadday, Nillumbik Environmental Works Officer, on 9433 3203 or

Priority species
African Daisy; African Lovegrass; Amsinckia; Artichoke Thistle; Bathurst Burr; Bridal Creeper; Boneseed; Cape Broom / Montpellier Broom; Erect Prickly Pear; Gorse / Furze; Great Mullein; Hardheads; Hemlock; Horehound; Paterson's Curse; Ragwort; Saffron Thistle; Scotch Thistle; Serrated Tussock; Slender Thistles; St John's Wort; Sweet Briar; Wild Garlic; Wild Watsonia

3. Course in Farm Chemical use - anyone interested in doing?
If you are ever likely to want to use 'restricted use' chemicals (ie Schedule 7 poisons) for pest, weed or disease control, you are required to hold a valid Agricultural Chemical Users permit (ACUP). When applying for an ACUP it is a prerequisite that the applicant has completed an approved training course. The training that is being offered is one such approved training course.

The training will be delivered by the Agriculture and Animal Science department of the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT), and is expected to require two full days of training.

We need to know who is interested in doing this training, and which options for delivery of this training will suit those who are interested.

If you are interested in doing the training, please let me know via email by Friday, 10th September, which of the following options suit you (please indicate all options that might suit you):

  • attend an existing course on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th November at NMIT (Epping & Yan Yean)
  • arranging a course over a weekend (Saturday and Sunday) in October or November locally (probably St Andrews)
  • arranging a course over two consecutive Saturdays in October or November locally
  • arranging a course over two consecutive Sundays in October or November locally
If you are indicating any of the last three options as being suitable, please also indicate the dates of any of the Saturdays or Sundays that do not suit during October and November.


4. Community fauna monitoring funding application


Thank you to all those who returned their expression of interest forms for the potential projects being considered by the Christmas Hills Landcare Group. The level of interest in extending the rabbit control program was reasonable but scattered, and therefore insufficient to build a case for a funding application. There is some potential, however, for a couple of areas with clusters of interest to try recruiting more properties for a future rabbit control program.
The interest in the fauna monitoring project was higher, and not so dependent on getting a cluster of properties in the one area, so a funding application is being prepared for this. The application is aimed at securing funds to:
  • purchase/manufacture nest boxes and artificial habitat for Common Dunnarts (a small, ground-dwelling carnivorous marsupial that has been recorded from in and around Christmas Hills
  • purchase of several remote, motion-sensing cameras to detect the presence of native fauna species
  • purchase of sound playback equipment (including a megaphone and recorded copies of bird and frog calls) for playing the calls of bird and frogs to detect their presence (either by return calls, or being attracted to the calls)
  • we are working with Deakin University to involve students in using GIS mapping software to predict potential habitat for a selection of species (to help with placement of nest boxes and surveillance cameras)
We hope to know in November whether or not the application has been successful.

5. 2010 - 2011 CHLG membership
Ongoing membership of the Christmas Hills Landcare Group is an important way to demonstrate your support and ensure you are kept informed of news and activities. Membership for the first year is $20.00 and gets you a group member gate sign, after that it is $10.00 per year. Memberships run from 1st July to 30th June each year, and this is the first call for membership renewals for the current year.
The current 2010/11 members are:

Peter and Jane Russ                                  
Doug Evans and Pip Charlton                   
Veronica Holland                
David Lang and Joan Stephens
Robyn Adams and Dianne Simmonds
Jo Hayter and Adrian Dyson
Jackie Hamlet
Douglas and Helen Bell
Mick and Suzanne Craine
Linda and Paul Melling
Neroli Merridew
Richard and Margie Forster
Noreen and David Evans
Kay and Rod Armstrong
Sarah Hammond and Rhys Morgan
John Devling

If your name is not on this list, please see this simply as a reminder that your membership renewal for the 2010/11 is now due.

Your continued support in the form of a $10 membership renewal payment (or $20 if it is your initial membership) is very much appreciated. Please pay Rob Shackleton if you see him, or send a cheque made out to "Christmas Hills Landcare Group" to P.O. Box 274, Yarra Glen, 3775.

6. Christmas Hills News - August edition


The August edition of the Christmas Hills News is now out. You can download a copy from the Christmas Hills Landcare Group website at: