Landcare updates, May 2015

Hello Friends and Landcarers All,



Waring  or Wombat Season, Wurundjeri Calendar, April-July.   Deep Winter- June to mid July.  Cool, rainy days follow misty mornings. The time of highest rainfall and lowest temperatures.This cold time of the year slowed down but did not stop plant growth. Animals such as echidnas were breeding, birds nesting. The flats near the rivers and creeks were often flooded; and the low lands generally were wet and cold, and unsuitable for camping, so people moved to the best sheltered spots on the uplands, where they were able to catch koalas, possums, and wombats, and to find grubs in the trees The leaves of the water plants had become dry and brown, but the small tuberous herbs were green and growing; the roots of both were good food. Fragrant nectar came from BURGILBURGIL, Honey-pots, Acrotriche serrulata, a small shrub which hid its flowers close to the ground. BULAIT- Cherry Ballart formed fruit. People constructed good bark WILLAMS (shelters) and kept fires burning for warmth. They wrapped themselves in rugs made from possum skins.

It’s also the time that the Lyrebird Survey Group gets ready for their annual survey. 
Survey dates this year are June 20th, July 4th and July 18th and these magical mornings are a must for anyone who loves the Dandenongs and are followed by a breakfast in the Park supplied by
 Parks Victoria rangers.
Have a look at their facebook page - great photos and information   Lyrebird  Study   Group.  

And on that note, The SAVE the DANDENONGS LEAGUE is having Alex Maisey speak at their AGM this Sunday - see the attached flyer.  Jan Incoll and Alex recently gave a great presentation at the May Emerald for Sustainability meeting so if you missed this very popular event, you can catch it here.  We are so fortunate have a local lyrebird population and to have the dedicated volunteers of the Lyrebird Survey Group monitoring their health.  We are also fortunate to have the Save the Dandenongs League, a venerable organisation  with an impressive conservation pedigree.

Jordan Crook, former Yarra Ranges young environmentalist awardee has arranged a forum for all of us in the outer south-east to understand the value of trees - why trees are important to the urban environment, to your bank account and our future.  The forum is on  June 24th at 7-15 at St. Bernadette’s School Hall in the Basin - flyer attached.   Thanks to Knox Environment Society for their sponsorship of this important forum.  Trees are the elephant in the room as we watch them being removed all around us.
BELGRAVE LANTERN PARADE , Saturday, June 20th.  Yes - it’s nearly that time of the year again, the winter solstice,  and we will be having a new platypus lantern as well as a short-finned eel to add to our collection of  CREATURES of the CREEKS  for the parade - the dragonflies, butterflies,  fish, yabby, Sherbrooke amphipod, frogs, possums, Bunjil the eagle, Waa the crow, powerful owl, lyrebird, rosellas etc.  Cap’n Trash and the Litter Fairy will be at the parade this year with a  walking platypus and a message about litter in our waterways.  There will be a Melbourne Water sponsored lantern-making workshop this Sunday, May 31st at Belgrave Library from 11 to 3pm making some milk bottle yabbies and platypus. This workshop runs in conjunction with a Belgrave Lantern Parade workshop so participants will be able to join that workshop and build a lantern of their own for a small fee.
 Lots of local environment groups have received grants from the Federal Government’s $2million Wildlife Protection and Fuel Reduction Program so keep your eye on the local papers for information.  There will be alot of work being done on weed reduction on public and private land  - very exciting.  In a separately funded Federal program, the Tradescantia Research and Mitigation Project, has seen the extent of tradescantia infestation being systematically mapped within the Dandenong Ranges National Park and adjoining private properties. The Community Weed Alliance of the Dandenongs is sponsoring a specialised Green Army who is working to eradicate this pest locally.  Another Green Army is currently being trained to assist the many local ‘Friends of’ groups in their conservation work.
Here is a message from Peter Cook from the Dandenong Ranges Renewable Energy Association <>
As you probably already know the government has added 'forest waste’ to last minute negotiations aimed at getting a deal on the Renewable Energy Target.

Please consider emailing the cross bench senators below and tell them this is definitely not a good idea.  You can also email the shadow Environment Minister  and the Opposition Leader


NEVER FORGET THAT woodchipping was introduced saying it would only use 'waste timber' but it wasn't long before whole forests were being felled for woodchips. The same is likely to happen here with  forest waste because policing of what is being felled in the forests is so inadequate that it cannot be prevented. Our forests are an important carbon store. If burnt their carbon will be released making climate change worse. We also need our forests as habitat, to filter rainwater and prevent erosion and dryland salinity.


The only timber that should be burnt for electricity generation is plantation timber like coppiced Mallee eucalypts planted on marginal farmland that regrow when cut for eucalyptus oil and power generation, but even though this is a ’sustainable’ use of timber, there are better alternatives for generating electricity. 

Ricky Muir (03) 5144 3639

Glenn Lazarus (07) 3001 8940

Nick Xenophon 08 8232 1144

John Madigan   (03) 5331 2321

Zhenya Wang (02) 6277 3843, and email -

There is lots more happening  so check out the SDLG facebook page for more info.  Do yourself a favour and have a bit of a walk in your nearest bit of  bushland to see a remarkable array of fungi - such diversity in shape, size and colour and so important to eco-system health, especially soil health in this, the International Year of Soils.  The Field Naturalist Club of Victoria  has a fungi group well worth investigating for those keen on outdoor photography.