Next working bee - Saturday 8 July.  

Meet at the Wonthaggi Lifesaving Club at 9am.  All welcome.

Weather Forecast

Biderap Dry Season [Jan-Feb]

Hot, dry weather. High temperatures and low rainfall.  Female Common Brown butterflies are flying.

Bowat (tussock-grass) is long and dry.

The Southern Cross is high in the south at sunrise.

Seven Seasons of the Kulin People

Artist - Karina H McInnes
Source - Museum Victoria

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West Area Block Project

Location-100A 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.

Site History

Location-250The site location - click to see an enlarged imageThe Western Area block of land, adjacent to the western area mining precinct, comprises 15.8 hectares that:

  • had previously been cleared along the coastal dunes and grazed under “permissive occupancy”

  • then, when the farm was acquired for the Desalination Plant, it became “no-one’s land”

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.

1-seed-prep-DSC 2168Seed preparation for direct seedingAn 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:

  • Friends of Wonthaggi Heathland & Coastal Reserve
  • Wonthaggi Seed Bank
  • Cape Paterson Coastal Plains Landcare

However, the initiation and success of the project has also depended on the support of local community groups including:

  • South Gippsland Conservation Society
  • Friends of State Coal Mine
  • Wonthaggi Urban Landcare
  • Bass Coast Friends of Hooded Plovers
  • Cape Paterson Residents & Ratepayers Assoc

Project Objectives

Direct seedingDirect seedingThe project objectives are to revegetate the block with indigenous plants by direct seeding to:

  • establish a flora and fauna habitat in a Coastal Banksia Woodland EVC
  • prevent weed dispersal
  • improve biodiversity
  • link coastal areas
  • restore the natural line of the coastal reserves
  • enhance the four ephemeral wetlands on the site

Work Schedule

Direct seedingDirect seedingWork commenced in Nov-2011 and by December, three key preparatory tasks had been completed:

  • Complete spraying of noxious weeds in remnant vegetation
  • Complete cut and removal of hay
  • Start propagation of plants for protecting salt grass in SE corner of the site

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:

  • Direct seeding (see photo's right) with seed previously collected locally by the volunteers of Wonthaggi Seed Bank
  • Supplementary hand-casting of seed by volunteers

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.

Maintenance Phase

photo-locationLocation on-site from which the panorama photos were takenThere 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

August 2011 - Prior to the project starting
June 2012 - After boom spraying of weeds
June 2012 - After the direct seeding
October 2012- After project completion but before new growth shows
August 2011 - Prior to the project starting
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start stop bwd fwd

Looking west towards Desalination Plant

August 2011 - Prior to the project starting
June 2012 - After boom spraying of weeds
June 2012 - After the direct seeding
October 2012 - After project completion but before new growth shows
August 2011 - Prior to the project starting
1/4 
start stop bwd fwd

 

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Want to help?

If you want to help restore our local bushland, or if you have any questions, you can contact us by email by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FoWH Members

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
incorporated association

 

FoWH Executive

President: Geoff Glare
Treasurer: Gary Martyn
Secretary
: Terri Allen
Assist-Sec
: Anne Looney

Contact FoWH by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.