The ‘core’ of Victoria’s serrated tussock infestation is located to the west of Melbourne in the catchments of Port Phillip and Western Port, and Corangamite. The area on the perimeter of the core is defined by the State Government as the serrated tussock line of containment, commonly referred to as the ‘containment line’.
Agriculture Victoria manages infestations of serrated tussock in priority areas within the borders of the containment line, as well as isolated infestations scattered across the State, through enforcement projects as part of their Statewide serrated tussock containment program.
To support the State Government’s containment program and achieve the objectives of the Victorian Serrated Tussock Strategy 2018 – 2023, the VSTWP coordinates a targeted extension program in communities located along the containment line. Selectively focusing the program in this area produces greater public and long-term benefits by reducing existing infestations, and helps to prevent the spread of serrated tussock into un-infested areas.
The targeted extension program is pursuant to the principles and objectives of extension; providing information, advice and ideas to individuals or communities, thereby increasing their knowledge, capacity and confidence to independently tackle problems, while also influencing decision making and generating practice change.
The VSTWP contracts Extension Officers to deliver free education and extension services to landholders in defined project areas, while also advocating the benefits of coordinated community action.
Extension Officers offer all landholders in a target area advice on serrated tussock identification and best practice management techniques. Landholders also have the opportunity to receive individual on-farm management advice and aerial maps of infestations discovered during the inspections.
The targeted extension program endorses the community-led approach to weed management by increasing landholder capacity to manage serrated tussock infestations for the long-term, encouraging communities to voluntarily manage serrated tussock, and in turn reducing reliance on government intervention.