One of Council’s five objectives from the Council Plan 2017-2021 is a ‘Sustainable Environment’.
A key activity of the Council to achieve this objective is to, ‘Take proactive steps to protect, maintain and enhance biodiversity, including rare/endangered species and wildlife corridors, and reduction of weeds on Council land while minimising herbicide use. Partner with other stakeholders to achieve greater weed management outcomes shire-wide’.
Supporting Actions to achieve this are;
- Implement the Hepburn Shire Biodiversity Strategy Action plan
- Implement actions to increase Council’s control and management of noxious weeds on reserves and roadsides under council management.
Applications for the 2021 Hepburn Shire Biodiversity Grants are open between Friday 23 April and 17 May 2021.
Groups are invited to apply for grants of up to $5000 that align with the objectives of the Hepburn Biodiversity Strategy. These Grants support environment groups and the diverse work being done to protect and enhance our natural landscapes. They are an important part of the Shire’s Biodiversity Strategy, which aims to partner with committed local environment groups.
Click here for the Guidelines for Biodiversity Grants 2021.
Hepburn Shire Biodiversity Strategy 2018-21
The Hepburn Shire Biodiversity Strategy 2018-2021 outlines the commitment of the Council to protect, enhance and restore biodiversity across the Shire. The strategy was adopted in November 2018.
The strategy has three broad aims,
- To protect and enhance biodiversity,
- To increase Hepburn Shire Council’s capacity to protect and enhance biodiversity
- To support community action and awareness
The strategy includes a four-year action plan with 13 strategic focus areas and 31 actions intended to provide on-ground protection and enhancement of biodiversity, support well informed decision making, increase community awareness and support partnerships to improve biodiversity for future generations.
Hepburn Shire Landcare Grants
This grant provides a one-off payment of $1000 annually to eligible groups, to be used toward group sustainability or upkeep of areas within Hepburn Shire.
This grant is open in May.
Community Biodiversity grants
Council offers Biodiversity grants to community groups annually. Grants range up to $5,000 and are available for projects aligned with the objectives of the Hepburn Biodiversity strategy.
Further details will be available on this website at the opening of the next grant round in late April.
Spray Minimisation Report
The Spray Minimisation Report was received at the November Council meeting. Council agreed to make the report public via its website and it is available below.
Council acknowledges the key recommendations in the Spray Minimisation Project report and agrees to consider how these might be implemented as part of Council operations. The report looks at exploring options to minimise the use of glysophate-based herbicides and using alternatives such as goat grazing and large scale hand weeding.
Click here to view the report – Spray Minimisation Report 2019 FINAL REPORT
Managing Gorse and Rabbits – the Virtual Extension Officer
The Virtual Extension officer tool here has been developed to help people identify options for control of Gorse, Rabbits and Serrated Tussock. This interactive tool was developed by the Victorian Gorse, Serrated Tussock and Rabbit Taskforces. It specifies different chemical and non-chemical control options to suit common land management situations.
Gorse and rabbits are among the most important agricultural and environmental pests in the Shire. Gorse degrades bushland ecosystems and visual amenity; it increases fire hazard and reduces pasture productivity. Rabbits also have major impacts on ecology and productivity. Serrated Tussock severely degrades native grasslands and pastures in neighboring areas and is an emerging weed in the Shire that will need diligent effort to prevent it establishing.
The Virtual Extension Officer includes videos, downloads and links to helpful references. It is a great starting point for those wanting to design a strategy for a single property or in collaboration with neighbours.