Dennis Family Corporation’s three year plan for serrated tussock in Manor Lakes

Dennis Family Corporation is in the business of creating master planned communities while minimising their impact on the environment and have recently implemented a three year plan to treat large areas of serrated tussock at Manor Lakes, Victoria. The Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party (VSTWP) have been excited to see the large infestation under successful treatment from Dennis Family Corporation since 2015. This is an excellent example of corporate responsibility and a large developer conducting treatments for the benefit of the community, farmers and future land owners, using best practice management techniques and selective herbicides.

Community Engagement Officer with the VSTWP Ivan Carter said “the work completed to date by Dennis Family Corporation has been very successful. It is a great example of a large land developer and builder ensuring they manage the local environment and invasive plants with best practice management before development commences. A mature serrated tussock plant can produce thousands of seeds per season, which are wind-blown across the region up to 20 kilometres from the parent plant.”

Manor Lakes is a Dennis Family Corporation development situated within the City of Wyndham in Melbourne’s west and is in the core infestation area of serrated tussock. Serrated tussock lowers agricultural production, devalues land and can be expensive to treat. There is a legal obligation under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1995, for landowners to control serrated tussock on their land. Failure to control this noxious weed can result in hefty fines. It is estimated that serrated tussock now covers over 140,000 hectares of land in Victoria and once it takes hold, large infestations require ongoing management.

Peter Levinge, CEO of Dennis Family Corporation, stated that “when Dennis Family Corporation project officers identified an infestation of serrated tussock in an undeveloped area scheduled for future release at Manor Lakes back in 2015, a decision was made to enlist the services of a land management contractor to manage, and hopefully eradicate, the weed from the local area”. “The contractor proposed a three-year program designed to achieve successful weed control through the installation of seed restriction fencing, annual brush cutting of serrated tussock prior to the development of seed and ongoing monthly herbicide control” said Mr Levinge.

The VSTWP advocates that best practice management is to control and treat mature serrated tussock plants prior to flowering and seeding each season with a registered selective herbicide or manual removal/cultivation. “It has been heartening to see a large company such as Dennis Family Corporation setting a good example by proactively managing their serrated tussock and developing a long term management plan” noted Mr Carter.

Dennis Family Corporation will continue to play an important role in the core infestations of Victoria, treating infestations prior to the development of land and ensuring spread of this noxious weed is minimised.