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Resource Newsletter - Winter 2016

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RESOURCE Rural Environment Newsletter Winter 2016 HUME CITY COUNCIL Hume City Council recognises the rich Aboriginal heritage within the municipality and acknowledges the Gunung-Willam-Balluk of the Wurundjeri as the Traditional Custodians of this land. Council embraces Aboriginal living culture as a vital part of Australia's identity and recognises, celebrates and pays respect to the existing family members of the Gunung-Willam-Balluk and to Elders past and present. Don't get caught out with fill The illegal placement of fill on rural land causes significant environmental degradation as well as damage to our rural road infrastructure. Within the Hume Planning Scheme, a planning permit is required for any earthworks in the Green Wedge Zone which involve the receipt, importation, stockpiling or placement of more than 100 cubic metres of fill. Any amount of fill which impacts on native vegetation or is proposed to be placed in an area covered by an Environmental Significance Overlay, also requires a planning permit. Council, with the assistance of Melbourne Water, has successfully taken action against a number illegal landfill sites within rural areas. This enforcement action has resulted in landowners having to remove fill from the land, pay native vegetation offsets and rehabilitate and revegetate the affected area. Don't get caught out. Ensure that you obtain planning approval prior to bringing fill onto your property. If you are considering accepting fill on your contact the Statutory Planning Department on 9205 2200. Feedback regarding the current edition or contributions are welcome and can be directed to the Rural Environment Officer by emailing or calling 9205 2200. This newsletter is printed on Revive Laser 100% recycled A new calicivirus on its way The original calicivirus was released into the European rabbit population in 1996 and resulted in a great decline in rabbit numbers. Over time the rabbit population built up immunity to this strain of calicivirus, giving more and more populations of rabbits a tolerance which has led to a bounce back in numbers over subsequent years. Extensive research has been undertaken on 38 different variants of calicivirus to determine suitability for release in Australia. From this, the RHDV K5 strain was chosen for a 2017 release. Like the 1996 strain, RHDV K5 will only affect the European rabbit population with the virus being spread by insects and infected rabbits. RHDV K5 is pending release in Autumn 2017 at chosen monitoring sites across the nation, including a site in the Sunbury region. It is essential that after the release, control methods are stepped up to reduce numbers at their lowest, as RHDV K5 will not reduce numbers to a sustainable level alone. For more information about rabbit biological control or if you're interested in nominating your property as a release site you can express interest through Pest Smart at Expression of Interest in Agricultural Chemical Users Course Council will be fielding expressions of interest for an upcoming Agricultural Chemical Users course to be held later in 2016. The course will give participants a greater knowledge on use of chemicals including herbicides, insecticides, pest animal chemicals (excluding 1080) and vet chemicals. At completion of the course the participant will be able to apply for an Agricultural Chemical Users Permit, allowing the landholder to purchase schedule seven chemicals. To express your interest contact the Sustainable Environment team on 9205 2200 or email

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