By Shane O’Laughlin, Victorian Blackberry Taskforce Representative
The Friends of Barkers Creek Group held the first community meeting at Harcourt on 28th June. The attendance was great. There are already 17 land owners signed to weed management plans and after hearing and seeing the expectation in the hall the community is taking to the VBT model like a duck to water. What started as a modest weed plan to control Blackberries, Gorse and other weeds in their creek has developed into a creek restoration and asset protection plan. During the evening the audience broke into three smaller groups according to where they lived along the creek line and nominated the features of the water way that they considered important, Michael Luke is sorting the information and is working towards making a plan that starts at the permanent Spring on Mt Barker an finishes at the junction of Forrest, Campbell and Barkers creeks near the middle of Castlemaine. This is a locally owned, developed and implemented action plan that came from a hopeful aspiration 12 months ago thanks to the support from the Victorian Blackberry and Gorse Taskforces.
Image – Shane O’Lauglin, VBT North Central representative, discuss the Barkers Creek project with Shane Herbertson, DPI Gorse Executive Officer, prior to the community meeting.