A 30 acre neglected block of Coastal Reserve that was 'overlooked' during the desalination plant construction, has been saved from becoming a "weed garden" by the actions of our local community.
Lead by the Friends of Wonthaggi Heathland, total funding of $68K was secured to enable the start of environmental restoration of the site.
Find out more about the West Area Block Project by clicking on the title above.
The Western Area block of land, adjacent to the western area mining precinct, comprises 15.8 hectares that:
By Jun-2010, local community members had identified that it was actually part of the Coastal Reserve and needed to be revegetated otherwise it would become a reservoir of weed seeds which will spread to the Coastal Reserve and the revegetation on the Desalination site.
An approach to the Capital Project group of the Dept of Sustainability & Environment yielded an immediate understanding that something had to be done. With the help of ParksVic, Council and community members, a budget was agreed to and an agreement reached. Under this agreement, DSE, Aquasure and Thiess Degremont would each contribute one-third of the implementation costs and three local community groups would, between them, contribute an equal share to ensure there were funds for the first 3-5 years when ongoing weed control and infill planting would be necessary.
The community groups contributing the fourth share were:
However, the initiation and success of the project has also depended on the support of local community groups including:
The project objectives are to revegetate the block with indigenous plants by direct seeding to:
Work commenced in Nov-2011 and by December, three key preparatory tasks had been completed:
From Feb to Jul-2012, two complete passes with boom sprays were completed to control the weeds and grasses that had overtaken almost the whole site.
During Jul-Oct, the site was planted by:
Manual planting in the ephemeral wetland areas was also scheduled to be completed by end-Oct ... but unfortunately with all the rain these wetlands are still too full of water to be planted yet. It is anticipated this will be completed by Christmas 2012, weather permitting.
There will, however, need to be ongoing maintenance of the site particularly over the next 3-5 years to continue weed control and do any supplementary planting required.
If you go the see the site, don't expect to immediately see lots of native vegetation. With direct seeding, it can take up to 3+ years to begin to see results.
Site Status Photos
The photos below were taken from the highest point on the site - see red circle on image right.
The photos are panorama compositions which show the eastern and western ends of the block, being towards Wonthaggi and the wind turbines and towards the desalination plant respectively.
Note that the east and west views overlap – seen as the area of water in the panoramas below.
Looking East towards the Wind Turbines and Wonthaggi
Looking west towards Desalination Plant
Powered by Joomla! v2.5
Want to help?
Membership is open to those who share our aims.
You can join simply by downloading the Membership Application by clicking here and follow the directions.
FoWHCR is a not-for-profit
President: Geoff Glare