Since February 2018, a diverse array of community groups, Traditional Owners, government and non-government partners from across the Victorian Volcanic Plains and Otways geographic area have participated in Biodiversity Response Planning. Their key task was to recommend a package of projects to DELWP for funding and refer additional recommended projects to an Independent Assessment Panel for state-wide consideration.  This was completed in June 2018.

Ten projects worth $2.885 million over three years have been announced for on-ground action across the Volcanic Plains and Otways area to secure Victoria’s biodiversity. These projects will be delivered over three years by various government and non-government stakeholders and will directly contribute to the targets of Biodiversity 2037, under the goal ‘Victoria's natural environment is healthy’.

Projects announced for funding in this region are identified on the maps and list below:

App ID Project Funding Project Lead / Delivery Partners Project summary
BRP009 Victorian Volcanic Plain (VVP) landscape wetland restoration program - restoring the hydrology of drained wetlands, especially on private land $140,000 Nature Glenelg Trust
Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority
Corangamite Catchment Management Authority
DELWP
Hydrological restoration of 100 hectares of Seasonal Herbaceous Wetlands of the Temperate Lowland Plains and other key wetland habitat for brolga, growling grass frogs, Corangamite water skink, Australasian bittern and migratory bird species such as Latham's snipe.
BRP011 Expanding and strengthening the Otway Ark $486,060 Conservation Ecology Centre
Parks Victoria
Southern Otway Landcare Network 
Maintain and expand the Otway Ark, a small mammal recovery program which incorporates best practice monitoring with ongoing fox control.
Impacts will be extended through assessing pig populations within the Otways and developing a program with the aim of restricting their spread and eradicating isolated pig populations.
BRP019 Building blocks for biodiversity in the Bannockburn region. $149,500 Ballarat Environment Network Inc
Chinaman's Lagoon Committee of Management
Parks Victoria
Geelong Landcare Network
Teesdale Grassy Woodlands Committee of Management 
Improve the condition and diversity of 500 hectares of endangered, diverse natural Temperate Grasslands, Plains Grassy Woodland & Creekline Tussock Grassland in the Bannockburn region of the Victorian Volcanic Plains bioregion.
To be achieved through transformer weed control, fox control and rabbit-proof fence installation/ extension (1 hectare) to protect exceptional conservation values for the long-term.
BRP022 Addressing key threats to native grassland linear reserves on the Victorian Volcanic Plains $374,500 DELWP
Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority
Golden Plains Shire
Improve quality and connectedness of natural temperate grasslands on the Victorian Volcanic Plains by reducing critical threats from priority, and new and emerging, weeds.
Strategic management activities will include weed mapping, targeted weed control and ecological/cultural burning across 1,420 hectares.
BRP023 Iconic estates - Volcanic Plains / Otways $385,365 Trust for Nature  Permanent protection of over 200 hectares of the Victorian Volcanic Plains / Otways most important habitat on private land , in partnership with local and regional networks and individual landowners.
BRP026 Connected landscapes - connecting landholders to biodiversity on the Victorian Volcanic Plain $462,000 Corangamite Catchment Management Authority
City of Greater Geelong
Moorabool Council
Golden Plains Shire
Colac-Otway Shire
Corangamite Shire
Trust for Nature
DELWP
Parks Victoria
Greening Australia
Lismore Land Protection Group
Leigh Catchment Group
Geelong Landcare Network
Geelong Field Naturalist Club
Private landowners
Protection, enhancement and restoration of over 1,000 hectares of threatened native grassland, grassy woodland and related habitats across the Victorian Volcanic Plain, with a focus on private land.
BRP027 Increasing biodiversity benefits across the Ramsar Western District Lakes $160,000 Greening Australia  Enhance landscape scale native vegetation within the Victorian Volcanic Plains Western District Ramsar Lakes, consisting of significant ecological communities and threatened flora and fauna species. Partnering with public and private landholders coordination of weed and predator activities will be undertaken across 1,000 hectare over 3 years.
BRP036 Otway landscape pest plant management $495,000 Parks Victoria  Protection of the significant biodiversity values of the Otway landscape through containment and control across 41,000 hectare of highly invasive pest plant species, such as Boneseed, Sweet Pittosporum, Sallow/Coast Wattle and Broom, that have the ability to alter ecosystem functioning and reduce habitat suitability.
BRP057 Enhancing and protecting biodiversity values in the Otway Plains $135,000 Upper Barwon Landcare Network
Surf Coast and Inland Plains Landcare Network
Central Otways Landcare Network
Protection and promotion of biodiversity in high value areas of the Otway Plains by using best practice approaches to remove exotic  invasive weeds in partnership with local landholders and land managers.
BRP062 Glenelg - Mt Napier goat control $98,000 Parks Victoria  Local eradication of goats (Capra hircus) from Mt Napier in collaboration with adjoining landholders, community volunteers and Traditional Owners.

More information

An initial task of the Working Group was to identify priority landscapes or themes within the area, which formed the basis of BRP projects. This process utilised the top 20% and 40% Cost Effective Actions Maps within the Strategic Management Prospects tool, together with other strategic plans (e.g. Conservation Action Plans), knowledge of existing project footprints and activity (e.g. Biodiversity On-Ground Action, Landcare, Weeds and Pests on Public Land) along with the collective expertise of the Working Group members.

The Working Group engaged with stakeholders within these priority landscapes/themes to develop projects that most cost-effectively deliver improved biodiversity outcomes within those landscapes or themes. Those priority landscapes are shown below:

Map of priority areas

The table below explains the priority actions to guide project development within each landscape.

Area

Landscape

Action

1

Otway’s/Coastal

Weed control focused on high threat weeds identified in key strategic management documents (e.g. Blackberry, Boneseed, Bridal Creeper and Sweet Pittosporum). Manage threats including foxes, feral cats, goats, pig and deer.

2

Victorian Volcanic Plain

Manage high threat weeds, undertake grassland biomass control, rabbit control and revegetation (i.e. stony rise woodlands and shrublands)

3

Western District Lakes

Manage high threat weeds (i.e. salt tolerant exotics) and revegetate. Manage threats include foxes and rabbits.

4

Eastern Glenelg

Manage woody weeds (e.g. Pine Wildlings, Coast Wattle, Sweet Pittosporum). Manage threats including foxes, feral cats, goats and pig.

The Working Group then assessed project proposals and recommended an area-based package for funding, working within indicative area-based funding allocations. Working Groups also recommended additional projects for funding from a competitive pool, which were subsequently assessed by an independent panel. All projects to be funded from these processes are listed above.

The working group was chaired by its Area Lead - DELWP

The group was supported by its Partnership Facilitator - DELWP

The working group members were:

  • Greening Australia
  • Conservation Ecology Centre
  • Geelong Field Naturalists Club
  • Corangamite CMA (Biodiversity)
  • Corangamite CMA (Landcare)
  • Parks Victoria
  • Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources - Biosecurity
  • DELWP Pest Plants and Animals
  • Golden Plains Shire
  • Colac Otway Shire
  • Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation
  • Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owner Aboriginal Corporation
  • Vicotiran, Volcanic Plains Biosphere Committee
  • Federation University

An evaluation of this first phase of Biodiversity Response Planning has commenced, led by an independent evaluation expert. The evaluation will be an opportunity for participants to have their say on what has worked well and what has not. Outcomes from the evaluation will be used to make improvements to delivery of Biodiversity Response Planning in 2019 and beyond.  Further information about the evaluation is available at Biodiversity Response Planning.

For further information, contact the DELWP Customer Service Centre on 136 186 to be directed to your area lead, or email  biodiversity.plan@delwp.vic.gov.au.