THE Bass Coast Landcare Network (BCLN) has proven that gorse is not too tough to handle through their efficient gorse management program of 2018/2019.
The BCLN obtained a Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) annual community grant for the second consecutive year, assisting them with their fight to eradicate gorse from the island.
Jason Good, the Pest Plant and Animal Team Leader for BCLN, took on the role as project officer for the last round of funding and is working towards comprehensively controlling gorse on Phillip Island.
The VGT community grants program provides funding for community-led gorse control education and treatment. The grant is executed by a project officer and rebates to landholders.
Through the efforts of the Victorian Gorse Taskforce and the Bass Coast Landcare Network, 722 hectares of gorse was controlled across 20 properties in the 2018/2019 financial year.
This complements the gorse control being completed by the Phillip Island Nature Parks and the Bass Coast Shire Council on publicly managed land.
Taking over the project, entitled ‘Maintaining the Gain,’ Jason was quickly able to engage more landowners through his strong links to the farming community and local contractors of Phillip Island.
This led to several properties getting involved in the project which fill in gaps between spots where VGT funding had been spent previously.
Robbie Gray, the Ecosystem Service Coordinator for the BCLN said: “Massive gains have been made, especially on Phillip Island where half a century ago the main roads were single lanes due to the encroachment of gorse.”
The management of gorse on Phillip Island leads to the protection of bush reserves which provide habitat for a number of threatened species including the recently released Eastern Barred Bandicoot, the local agricultural land, some infrastructure and natural amenity supporting the tourism industry.
The Victorian Gorse Taskforce is very proud of the efforts of the Bass Coast Landcare Network so far and congratulates them on their widespread education about gorse management.
For more information on gorse or the Bass Coast Landcare Network, please visit the VGT website at www.vicgorsetaskforce.com.au or email Jason Good at Jason.good@basscoastlandcare.org.au