Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Bountiful bird baths

Posted on 23 January, 2019 by Tanya Loos

It is true, we have previously written about the wonders of bird baths for birds and other fauna. But with another heat wave hitting this week, we are sharing a new gallery of pics of animals using local bird baths during our recent hot weather. On a 40 degree day, fresh cool water can be literally a life saver!

Thirsty wallaby drinks from a bird bath (photo by Jane Rusden)

However, avian visitors are more common. How many bird species can you identify visiting this bird bath? Hover your mouse over the right hand side of the gallery to click on the arrow and move through these photos taken by Frances Howe…



Tussock hitches a ride across Victoria

Posted on 16 January, 2019 by Asha

The year 2018 saw perfect conditions for Serrated Tussock, allowing this weed of national significance to seed prolifically and contaminate stock feed.

Here is a message from the Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party:

The Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party (VSTWP) would like to advise landowners to ensure fodder and hay purchased this summer and autumn is free of noxious weeds, and in particular, serrated tussock (Nassella trichotoma). The previous year has seen perfect conditions for this weed of national significance to seed prolifically, resulting in many paddocks being infested prior to baling for fodder. Drier conditions also result in more fodder being transported around the state and interstate.

Whilst it can be difficult to inspect all fodder purchased for noxious weeds, VSTWP Executive Officer Doug May suggests that ‘Landowners should attempt to purchase stockfeed from reputable outlets that can verify the absence of declared noxious weeds and from areas outside of the serrated tussock core infestations around the fringes of northern and western Melbourne’. ‘Landowners are often unaware of the grassy weed in their paddocks, especially during a decent spring like the one we just had and may bale paddocks unaware of the viable seeds in the fodder,’ noted Mr May.

The VSTWP recommends that landowners set aside designated feed-out area, which allows the landowner to monitor this area regularly for the germination of weeds particularly after periods of rain. Landowners should keep an eye out for Serrated Tussock or any new or unusual plants in these feed-out areas and undertake control measures early before they flower and set seed.

Long standing member and current chairperson of the VSTWP, John Burgess, stated that the VSTWP ‘advocates that best practice management is to control and treat mature serrated tussock plants prior to flowering and seeding each season with a registered herbicide, manual removal or cultivation’.

Serrated tussock is an introduced invasive plant from South America that has the potential to rapidly decrease the biodiversity of native grasslands and seriously reduce the agricultural capacity of properties.

For further information, please visit or email

Serrated tussock seeds are small and numerous, and can travel via fodder and stock-feed


Preview ‘The Adventures of Ernie the Queensland Fruit Fly’ – 24 January 2019

Posted on 15 January, 2019 by Frances

Mount Alexander Shire Council and the City of Greater Bendigo, in partnership with Agriculture Victoria, invite you to join a sneak peek preview of The Adventures of Ernie the Fruit Fly – a series of educational videos on managing Queensland fruit fly.

Light refreshments will be served.

When: Thursday 24 January 2019 from 2.00 to 2.45 pm
Where: Castlemaine Civic Centre, Council Chambers, Lyttleton St, Castlemaine VIC

Please RSVP by 18 January to Amanda Every