Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Queensland Fruit Fly confirmed in Harcourt

Posted on 19 March, 2019 by Ivan

Harcourt Valley Fruit Fly Action Group has just confirmed the presence of Queensland Fruit Fly in southern Harcourt in central Victoria

Fighting fruit fly requires everyone in the community to help manage their land. Details about the required actions will be provided shortly. For now, to help the community please:

  • Practice fruit hygiene – Don’t leave ripe fruit on the tree or ground, including fruiting veggies like tomatoes. Be cautious about sharing fruit.
  • Set fruit fly traps – Buy traps such as BioTraps from Bendigo Wholefoods, MacDonald’s Nursery (Bendigo) or Bunnings, or make your own.

A mature Queensland fruit fly (photo by Agriculture Victoria)

If you find fruit with maggots in it:

  1.  Place fruit into sealed plastic bags.
  2.  Leave the bags in the sun for 5 -7 days to kill maggots, or boil or freeze.
  3.  Put the bags into your garbage bin. Do not put affected fruit into your compost.
  4.  Send an email to with your name, address, phone number and photo if you can.


Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni) is a significant horticultural pest that permanently inhabits parts of the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, and increasingly parts of Victoria. It attacks a wide range of host plants, decreasing production and making fruit inedible. This can have severe consequences for local and international trade.

While Queensland fruit fly activity generally increases in spring as the weather gets warmer, it is not strictly tied to a particular season. If sufficiently warm weather persists into autumn or winter, fruit flies can continue to reproduce, if a suitable host fruit or fruiting vegetable is available.

Traps are designed to lure and kill adult fruit flies. Some traps are used to monitor Queensland fruit fly numbers only, indicating if fruit flies are active in your area and when you need to act. These traps are often referred to as male-only traps. Other traps control Queensland fruit fly populations by catching females as well as males.

If Queensland fruit flies are in your garden, you need to actively control these populations with a trap that can catch females as well as males. These fruit fly traps contain a protein which attract females then kills them. Follow the product instructions how set up and place the traps. Fruit fly traps are usually placed in host trees, but they can also be placed around the garden to draw fruit flies away from your produce.

Watch the video below for more information.





Future of our Forests – consultation ends 31 March 2019

Posted on 16 March, 2019 by Ivan

The Victorian Government, in partnership with Traditional Owners, is embarking on a major program to reform our forest management and guide the modernisation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements. This is an important opportunity to influence the future management of our forests, both in our region and across the state.

Victoria’s public forests are valuable in their own right and important to the community. The connection that Victoria’s Traditional Owners and Aboriginal communities have with Country is core to their culture and wellbeing. Forests provide Victorian communities with a broad range of uses and values that include clean water and air, habitat trees, biodiversity conservation, recreation and connection with nature, and climate change mitigation and refuge.

This is your chance to have a say in the modernisation of Victoria’s Regional Forestry Agreements and forest management system. The aim is to develop a vision and strategy for a future-ready, responsive management system. Outcomes of the engagement will inform the strategic direction for future forest management in Victoria, negotiation of Regional Forest Agreements with the Commonwealth government, and reform of Victoria’s regulatory framework and forest management planning.

Engagement aims to focus on understanding how people value and use our forests, seek people’s views on a vision for future forest management, and include joint engagement with the Commonwealth government specifically focussed on Regional Forest Agreements. This will be supported by other activities including workshops, meetings, drop-in centres and listening posts at community events.

Click on the following link to access a survey to provide your views on how management of Victoria’s forests can be improved, and what you would like from forests into the future:

Public consultation via the survey closes at midnight on Sunday 31 March 2019.

Winter dawn at Strangways Forest (photo by Tanya Loos)



The remarkable world of wild orchids with Newstead Landcare – 21 March 2019

Posted on 14 March, 2019 by Ivan

Newstead Landcare group are delighted to present a talk by Emily Noble on ‘The remarkable world of wild orchids’ at 8.00 pm on Thursday 21 March 2019 at Newstead Community Centre.

Emily is the Secretary of the Field Naturalists’ Club of Ballarat and Business Manager of the Ballarat Environment Network. She’s also Coordinator of the 540 ha Clarkesdale Bird Sanctuary in Linton (Victoria) for Birdlife Australia, and proud owner of a bush block south-west of Ballarat that is home to at least fifty different wild orchids. However, she still finds time to pursue her interest in orchids and their interactions with the co-inhabitants of their environment.

Trying to catch these interactions on camera provides her with many unexpected insights into their ecology, helping inform her conservation activities, and providing a source of ongoing wonder.

Come along to learn more about these remarkable plants and their fascinating relationships with their world. Newstead Landcare welcomes everyone to Emily’s presentation and supper afterwards (and promises there will be no business meeting to sit through!). 

Pollinating bee on Golden Sun Moth Orchid (Photo by Emily Noble)


The remarkable world of wild orchids’ talk by Emily Noble
Thursday 21 March 2019 at 8.00 pm
Newstead Community Centre, 9 Lyons St, Newstead VIC
Bring: a gold coin donation would help be appreciated to help cover costs

For those interested in reading more about the Clarkesdale Bird Sanctuary in Linton, please click here.