Would you like to be a valued Community Representative on the Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party (VSTWP) Committee, and be remunerated for your time?

The VSTWP are a state-wide community organisation that have historically focused efforts on containing the core infestation of the noxious weed Serrated Tussock (Nassella trichotoma) to the north and west of Melbourne. They are aiming to increase support in the West Gippsland, North-East and South-West Victoria region, and as such are seeking a point of contact from each region to sit on the committee. Serrated tussock infestations are spreading throughout Victoria, and better representation and assistance available is important for all regions.

Serrated tussock is an introduced invasive plant from South America that rapidly decreases the biodiversity of native grasslands and seriously reduces the agricultural capacity of properties. Chairman of the VSTWP Lance Jennison said “Serrated tussock now covers over 250,000 hectares of land in Victoria and has caused heartache for many landowners battling the invasive grass”. “The VSTWP is an incorporatedorganisation comprised of community members in collaboration with a range of stakeholders, including members of the State Government, Catchment Management Authorities, Local Government, Landcare, VicRoads and Vline/VicTrack” said Mr Jennison.

In 1995 the community was deeply concerned with the spread of serrated tussock, a devastating weed that had invaded 140,000 ha of land in Victoria. In response to that community concern, a strategy for the control of serrated tussock in Victoria was produced, which called for the development of the Victorian Serrated Tussock Society, as it was known then. Today, that organisation is the community-managed and driven Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party (VSTWP).

Committee members are invited to quarterly meetings (4 per year) and are required to attend at least 50% of these. Meeting attendance may be in person or via video or online meeting platforms. The Working Party also establishes technical or advisory groups to address specific tasks/issues between meetings, and make use for email and telephone to collaborate.

Community representatives come from various walks of life with differing skills and experience; all with an interest and concern about serrated tussock in Victoria. It is the community representative’s responsibility to meet the outcomes of the Victorian Serrated Tussock Strategy 2018-2023 by educating, promoting and encouraging the Victorian community to adopt serrated tussock best management practices. Community representatives will be reimbursed for their time attending VSTWP meetings in accordance with Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party ‘sitting fees and travel rates schedule.’ Community representatives will also be reimbursed for kilometres travelled by car and other travel costs such as parking or public transport to attend VSTWP meetings and attending approved events.

The VSTWP have also recently upgraded their website (www.serratedtussock.com) to include a series of video clips that assist landowners with the identification of serrated tussock and provide video case studies of successful serrated tussock management in Victoria. The website also has a variety of research on best practice management and copies of the iconic quarterly newsletter the Tussock Times.

For further information about joining the VSTWP, please contact Ivan Carter, Community Engagement Officer, Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party on 0422605953. For more information on serrated tussock please visit www.serratedtussock.com

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