Weeds in the peri-urban environment
Melbourne’s peri-urban areas contain important habitat and biodiversity. In a rapidly changing and fragmented landscape, land managers face many challenges to protect native plants, animals and fungi.
Weeds impact the diversity and function of natural habitats, land productivity, water quality, tourism, fire risk and visual amenity values. Management of weeds throughout the peri-urban area is a challenge and requires collaboration between land managers and stakeholders on both public and private land.
Arum lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) a commonly found weed in Melbourne’s peri-urban environment. Photo by Bec Schwinghammer.
Bluebell Creeper (Billardiera heterophylla), another commonly found weed species in Melbourne’s peri-urban environment. Photo by Bec Schwinghammer.
The Peri-urban Weed Management Partnerships (PWMP) program is a collaborative initiative between state and local governments. It is aimed at safeguarding native plant and animal species from invasive weeds in the peri-urban fringe area of Melbourne. With a funding allocation of $4 million until June 2025, the program supports a total of 10 projects, including 6 recurrent and 4 new projects.
Building upon the accomplishments and previous investments of the PWMP 2016-2021 initiative, the program focuses on identifying native habitats of significant environmental and community value on public land. Land managers, such as Councils and Parks Victoria, work closely with the community to prevent and reduce impacts of high-risk weeds in key council areas surrounding Melbourne.
Supporting Biodiversity 2037
The PWMP program supports the goals of the Victorian Government’s biodiversity plan, Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037, which encourages all Victorians to value nature and to ensure that Victoria’s natural environment is healthy and resilient.
The ten projects are listed below. Click on the project to find out more.
The Maribyrnong Valley Connection Project is dedicated to the protection and enhancement of high-value biodiversity assets within the Brimbank and Hume municipalities. Within the project area, the merging Jacksons Creek and Deep Creek waterways form the Maribyrnong River, where only a small 10% of the catchment retains its natural vegetation. Building upon past accomplishments, the project has expanded its footprint to safeguard the diverse vegetation spanning from mountain ranges to critically endangered grassland ecosystems, ensuring long-term protection and positive outcomes for the area.
Project Lead: Brimbank City Council
The current Rivers to Ranges Project encompasses four interconnected habitat corridors across Nillumbik Shire Council and City of Whittlesea, linking the middle-Yarra and Plenty Rivers to the Kinglake Ranges. The areas included have high biodiversity values and are home to rare and threatened flora and fauna including various endangered native orchid species, Brush-tailed Phascogale, Slender-tailed Dunnart, Powerful Owl and Swift Parrot.
Project Lead: Nillumbik Shire Council
The Dandenong Ranges is home to a diverse range of vegetation communities, such as towering Mountain Ash trees and beautiful fern gullies. The area holds unique significance to the Wurundjeri and Bunurong people. The project focuses on protecting critical habitats for endangered species like Powerful Owls, Tree Goannas, and Southern Greater Gliders, as well as preserving iconic tree species such as Sassafras and Mountain Ash. Additionally, it aims to safeguard the headwaters of local waterways, including Dandenong and Sassafras Creek, which support threatened Cool Temperate Rainforest and serve as natural springs.
Project Lead: Yarra Ranges Council
The Cardinia Creek Rehabilitation Project aims to restore and protect the biodiversity-rich middle-upper reaches of Cardinia Creek and the Stoney Creek sub-catchment near Beaconsfield Upper. The collaborative project prioritises sites with high biodiversity values, including those monitored for threatened species and threatened vegetation communities. High priority is also given to sites earmarked for future release of the Helmeted Honeyeater and their surrounding landscapes.
Project Lead: Cardinia Shire Council
The Mornington Peninsula Weed Management Partnership project is a partnership between the Mornington Peninsula Shire and Parks Victoria, engaging agencies including the Bunurong Land Council, local Community Groups, Trust for Nature and Deakin University Research teams. The project delivers on-ground weed control in high biodiversity value sites to enhance areas of remnant bushland, including at Arthurs Seat State Park, Devilbend Natural Features Reserve, Mornington Peninsula National Park and Point Nepean National Park.
Project Lead: Mornington Peninsula Shire
The City of Greater Dandenong, supported by Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water, the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, City of Casey, and Knox City Council, have expanded from the first Lower Dandenong Creek Biodiversity Connection Project. The project area is of great significance, offering vital habitat for vulnerable fauna species like Latham’s Snipe, Dwarf Galaxias, Grey-headed Flying Fox, and Swift Parrot. The project will support an extensive network biodiverse green corridors and build on the strength of previous partnerships to expand on the community’s capacity to engage, value, and protect nature, for the benefit of all Victorians.
Project Lead: City of Greater Dandenong
The Casey Coastal Peri-urban Weed Management Partnership Project, in collaboration with Parks Victoria, Friends of Warneet and the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, focuses on mitigating the impact of invasive weeds and involving the community in biodiversity conservation. The project targets the Warneet Natural Features Reserve and the Western Port Intertidal Reserve, both within the Western Port Ramsar Site, host to state-listed flora and significant fauna. The project aims to restore bushland habitat, enhance native species, combat invasive weeds, and foster community engagement and education to promote the appreciation and protection of the reserves.
Project Lead: City of Casey
Hobsons Bay is home to some incredibly important areas for biodiversity, including coastal vegetation and mudflats, which provide feeding, roosting and nesting areas for critically endangered migratory wading birds and local shorebirds. The Coastal Corridor Partnership project will provide a platform for land managers in Hobsons Bay and Parks Victoria to collaborate and align works more closely, whilst engaging with Traditional Owners the Bunurong Land Council and the general community.
Project Lead: Hobsons Bay Council
The project will foster a new partnership between the City of Kingston and the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporations Environment Team to provide an increased capacity to protect and enhance the biodiversity within the Kingston foreshore and bushland reserves. The foreshore hosts several unique species and threatened habitat’s, including remnant Coastal Dune Grassland, Coastal Dune Scrub, Coastal Headland Scrub, Sand Heathland and Coast Banksia Woodlands. The collaborative project aims to protect and enhance biodiversity by combining targeted weed reduction, promotion of indigenous species, and conservation with cultural knowledge.
Project Lead: City of Kingston
French Island National Park, surrounded by the internationally significant Western Port Ramsar Site, is Victoria's largest island, hosting rich and diverse fauna and flora. The project focuses on two significant areas, Bluegums and Bullock Swamp. It aims to protect conservation assets, including threatened species like Eastern Barred Bandicoots and Long-nosed Potoroos, while enhancing habitats and native flora in Heathland, Dry Forest, Woodland, and Coastal ecosystems. The project works with partner organisations to plan and deliver the work, including Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, Friends of French Island, French Island Landcare, Zoos Victoria, Melbourne Water and DEECA.
Project Lead: Parks Victoria
How can you help?
So you’re passionate about acting for nature? Check out the things you can do to stop the spread of weeds and allow our native plants and animals to thrive.
- Report new and unusual plant/weed sightings to Agriculture Victoria and on iNaturalist.
- Learn about weeds and join Weed Spotters Victoria for free. They have plenty of free online resources to help you identify weeds and know what they look like.
- Don’t spread weeds through the bush. Check your shoes after you go for a walk, to remove any seeds or plant matter - check your pets too! Practice good vehicle hygiene as they can hitch a ride there too.
- If you have a garden carefully consider what you plant, many of our environmental weeds start out in residential gardens. Consider planting Victorian native species indigenous to the Melbourne area. You can find some great native nurseries here .Practice responsible disposal of weeds when gardening.
- When you remove weeds remember to plant something else in its place. This way you’re more likely to keep the weeds out and your hard work won’t go to waste.
- Become involved in environmental volunteering in Victoria, join your local ‘Friends of’ group or Landcare group, or explore volunteer opportunities with the Parks Victoria tool, ParkConnect.
Page last updated: 22/08/23