Parks Victoria is organising a weekend working bee near Omeo to tackle the invasive English Broom, through helping to release biocontrol agents (beetles and mites). It will happen over the weekend of 24th – 26th November.

24th – 26th November, 2017

  • Arrive Friday 24th November 2017 from 4pm onwards
  • Induction and work Saturday 25th November 2017
  • Half day work, debrief and pack up Sunday 26th November 2017
  • 2 nights camping

English broom is a perennial shrub of the pea family which can form dense thickets and exclude desirable native species. It has invaded approximately 150,000 ha of Victoria and is yet to reach maximum habitat potential. Biological control can reduce the vigour and spread of target species with minimal labour inputs. Two English broom biocontrol agents which can weaken the health and reproductive capacity of broom plants have been successfully introduced in the Eastern Alps: the seed-feeding beetle and gall mites.

Parks Victoria is calling on volunteers to assist in dispersing these two biological control agents to help control the spread of English broom. Participants will collect and relocate the biocontrol agents to identified release sites within the Alpine National Park. There will also be an opportunity for participants to conduct some on-ground control works to treat English broom plants at a known site near Omeo called “Burnside Track”. This site is home to the protected Burnside Orchid and requires sensitive treatment to ensure there is no off-target impacts to the Orchid.

Where? Camp will be set on at Hinnomunjie Bridge Camping Area on Kelly’s Rd (19 km’s from Omeo). This campground has a drop toilet.

What? Participants will collect biocontrol agents from ‘nursery’ sites near camp and then navigate to release sites within the Alpine National Park as directed by Parks Victoria Staff.

Participants are invited to utilise their personal 4WD vehicles to shuttle volunteers and biocontrol agents to release sites.

What will Parks Victoria supply?

Cooking facilities, Breakfast for Saturday and Sunday, BBQ dinner for Saturday night, tools for agent collection.

What should participants bring?

Camping equipment, dinner for Friday night, lunch for Saturday and Sunday, drinks.

To express interest or for further information contact: Brenda Skene – Brenda.Skene@parks.vic.gov.au