The Phillip Island Landcare Group and the Bass Coast Landcare Network have been working in partnership with Westernport Water since 1999. The partnership was again ratified in 2016 with the signing of a five year Memorandum of Understanding and celebrated with a joint tree planting event at a private land site in the Tennant Creek Catchment.
The partnership has two main components. Partnership contributions that support key Landcare projects, and fee for service works which fund the Bass Coast Landcare Network to undertake on ground works on Westernport Water owned assets.
One of the recent highlights of the partnership is the Candowie Reservoir revegetation project. The project commenced in 2012 in conjunction with the commencement of the dam wall being raised. Over a three year period a combination of tubestock planting and direct seeding was undertaken around the reservoir over 28 hectares of land. To illustrate this differently, that is a total of 65,000 tubestock and six kilograms of native seed. This work has been combined with ongoing weed control works and pest animal control works targeting rabbits, hares, foxes and deer.
Westernport Water Managing Director, Peter Quigley, expressed how pleased his team was with the revegetation and on-ground works provided by Landcare.
“The growth rates and success of the program is a credit to the Landcare crew. The prevention of erosion from the increased vegetation surrounding the reservoir is vital to filter the water run off over the natural landscape and contributes to improved raw water quality,” said Mr Quigley.
Bass Coast Landcare Network Chair, Mike Cleeland, is proud of the quality of the planning and on ground works undertaken by the staff team. “As an organisation, we are extremely pleased with how successful this revegetation has been. Only small areas will require further revegetation works. In some areas, we have trees that have grown up to 15 feet tall, such as blackwoods, silver wattles and numerous eucalypt species”.
The revegetation works have attempted to replicate the original vegetation communities of lowland forest, damp forest and swamp scrub. Future works are planned at the site which will focus on the ongoing management of pest plants and animals, as well as an ongoing supplementary planting program.
The revegetation works at Candowie Reservoir demonstrate what can be achieved in our landscape with good partnerships and planning. Combined with similar projects being undertaken on private land, the catchment of Candowie Reservoir is being transformed.
If you are interested in hearing more about this partnership or wish to become involved in Bass Coast Landcare Network activities please call the office on 03 5678 2335.