Information supplied by Gary Kerr
Progress and effort have delivered some great outcomes over the past few months. The group have been working hard to secure funding and strengthen partnerships. The future for this group is looking bright. Investing in a project plan allows groups to know where they are going and details how to get there. The SWWAT have an action plan that has identified a target area and the many actions that will need to take place in order to move forward. Having a plan makes it easier to know what opportunities you say yes to and what opportunities are not aligned with your groups short and long term goals.
Strengthening partnerships and engagement in positive liaison has many advantages. Grass roots programs always have the power to make the biggest differences. Strong project leaders when coupled with a united team can be the vehicle for change.
Liaison with DELWP to date has been productive, collaboration on where to target our group efforts in regards to the departments planned fuel reduction plans. This will help our group to plan our weed control operations. We feel that if we fall just the larger pittos a few months ahead of a burn, the fire will take care of the smaller ones, aided by the fuel supplied by their dead parents.
Letterbox drops on Hodgetts Rd resulted in four residents treating the east/west section of the road. Response from residents on the north/south section was not so good. 19 residents where letterboxed on Cockatoo Valley Rd with four turning up for the Saturday morning meeting/demonstration. Participants gained new skills and knowledge which they reported would be used to treat their own section of the road. While not quite the response the group had hoped for, it all helps to raise awareness. If those four participants can all get their neighbours on board then just imagine what Cockatoo Valley Road might look like by this time next year.
The SWAT team have cleared several hundred hectares on the east side of Elbow Ford road of sweet pittosporum, sallow wattle, gorse, and a few pine wildlings.
Part of this area where the SWAT team had fallen sweet pittosporum earlier and left to dry was burnt in the April fuel reduction burn. The result was 100% satisfactory in cleaning up what was left on the ground. This is in contrast to DELWP's expensive Hawkins Lane burn at Bolwarra in March where the pittosporum was left standing, defying all attempts to burn it.
If you have sweet pittosporum growing in your garden or on your roadside you should consider contacting the group to organise a demonstration on how to control this highly invasive weed.
SWAT are keen to recruit volunteers. Interested participants can contact Gary Kerr firstname.lastname@example.org or phone
0427829748 or Bob Hodgetts on 0419899934