Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Have you got gorse? – Victorian Gorse Taskforce survey 2018

Posted on 22 February, 2018 by Asha

The Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) has developed a survey to gain an understanding of the types of support that communities need from VGT to manage gorse in their local area. The VGT uses government investment to establish and support community-led projects, which aim to eradicate gorse where possible across Victoria. Gorse is a highly invasive weed.  It can adversely impact on agriculture, waterways, amenity and native vegetation, as well as harbour pests such as, rabbits and foxes. 

In Victoria, gorse is:

  • Regionally prohibited in the East Gippsland catchment.
  • Regionally restricted in the Mallee catchment.
  • Regionally controlled in all other Victorian catchments.

The results from this survey will help the VGT identify opportunities where they can provide better support to you or your networks. If you know or suspect gorse on your property please take five minutes to fill out the survey so the VGT can work to provide the right support.

The survey should not take any more than 5 to 10 minutes to complete, and you can go in the draw to win 1 of 3 $50 Woolworths vouchers.

The survey can be accessed via this link:

The survey closes 5 pm on Tuesday 13 March 2018.


Rabbit Buster Month

Posted on 21 February, 2018 by Asha

February is Rabbit Buster Month. Now is the time to strike!

John ‘Rabbit Buster’ Matthews (Biosecurity Manager, Agriculture Victoria) tells us:

‘The right time, using the right tools, to the correct standards will ensure your investment and effort into rabbit control results in long term control’.

John’s key points include:

  • Collect baseline information. You need to know the scale of your problem before you try to manage it.
  • Know your goal. Rabbits can seriously impede regeneration of many native species.
  • Support and learn from your peers. Local knowledge is powerful. Take some time to learn from your neighbours, landcare group and even local contractors.

Success will come from a committed and coordinated community working simultaneously, using best practice techniques, with high rates of participation at a landscape scale.

CLICK HERE to download the North Central Chat February Newsletter and read a more detailed account of how to ‘Hop On Board’ with rabbit control.

CLICK HERE for more information about rabbit monitoring and control options.


Charismatic rakali (native water rat) talk on 1 March 2018

Posted on 15 February, 2018 by Tanya Loos

Australian water rats are completely aquatic rats that are more like small otters than anything ratty.

They have very little in common with the rats that are found in the chook shed or behind the pantry – in fact, many people prefer to call water rats by the name Rakali.  Rakali are attractive native mammals that are excellent indicators of ecosystem health. They are an apex predator of our waterways, feasting on fish, yabbies and sometimes even ducks!

Rakali have webbed feet and come in many colours, this one in a very fetching apricot and chestnut brown.


Goldfields Library Corporation contacted us at Connecting Country seeking a speaker for their Big Ideas series. As Tanya had recently researched the ecology, evolution and conservation of these lovely animals, she jumped at the chance. Please come along to find out more about Rakali, and how you can help them thrive in the dams and waterways of the Castlemaine region.

When:  Thursday 1 March 2018 at 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Where:  Castlemaine Library (212 Barker St, Castlemaine)

Bookings:  Attendance is free, but please register here

Fun facts about rakali:

  • Based on anecdotal reports, rakali will travel several hundred metres across dry land to dine on delicacies, such as pet food left out regularly on a back porch.
  • Rakali thrive in both freshwater and seawater environments. They may be observed in environments as varied as beneath a busy pier in Geelong, or in a quiet freshwater stream in the mountains, or even in concrete lined lakes and ponds in public gardens.