Volcanic Plains grants now available

2 August 2015

Landholders in Hume, Melton and Geelong council areas can apply for up to $20,000 in funding to tackle weeds and pest animals, and to improve native grasslands on their property.
Expressions of interest are now open for round 3 of the Valuing our Volcanic Plains incentives, coordinated by the Port Phillip and Westernport CMA using funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
In previous years, the project has already given more than $160,000 to 26 landholders to combat invasive plants and animals on the Volcanic Plains west of Melbourne. This will improve the condition of the native grasslands and habitat for threatened species including the Striped Legless Lizard, Sunshine Diuris and Plains Wanderer.
Federal Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt said, “The Australian Government is committed to doing all it can to protect threatened species, and through National Landcare Programme funding, the Valuing our Volcanic Plains project is doing just that.”
“The partnership between Port Phillip and Westernport CMA, Hume, Geelong and Melton Councils, and landholders in these important native grasslands, is a great way to deliver local on-ground action. The work to reduce invasive weeds and pest animals will help restore these valuable threatened native grasslands to their natural state.”
Ian Taylor, who runs indigenous plant nursery, Western Plains Flora, at Wildwood, recommends the project to owners of all kinds of properties.
His passion is in the revegetation of basalt grasslands flora across the plains, a subject he has been deeply involved with all his life, and as a commercial enterprise for the past two decades. He’s been involved in the Friends of the Organ Pipes and has written a book on local flora of the Western Plains. Ian received funding under round 1 of the program and was able to use it to help establish a secure area of land as a natural “ark” for Keilor Plains flora species.
“There are plenty of people who are doing good work in this area, and this grant program can be a great support to help you accomplish a lot more than you might have been able to do otherwise,” he said.
He said he regarded the nursery not really as a profit-based business, but as a knowledge-based business, helping others who want to repopulate or protect remnant species in the area. “You’re part of a process where you are assisting others to do their bit.”
He said Hume City Council was very supportive of revegetation works and had designed a guide for local landowners to help identify what types were suitable for their properties and how to get involved. “I’d encourage landowners to consider applying for these grants, as every bit helps to support what is one of the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world,” he said.
For more information about applying for a grant under the Valuing our Volcanic Plains project, please contact:
Melton: Ben Kroker (03) 9747-7200 environmentalservices@melton.vic.gov.au
Geelong: Rebecca Kootstra, Ph: 0419 502 582, email: RKootstra@geelongcity.vic.gov.au
Hume City: Roland Herbert : (03) 9205-2200 rolandh@hume.vic.gov.au
Port Phillip and Westernport CMA: Sarah Maclagan (03) 8781 7943 sarah.maclagan@ppwcma.vic.gov.au