What a great morning

Peel Harvey Catchment Council turned on a great breakfast and gave locals 20 plants each this morning. About 100 people enjoyed the hospitality and the information provided by PHCC in spite of the cold and the wet. LCHRA President Jenny Rose, who also runs the local Landcare group, facilitated the event and the staff and volunteers from PHCC were highly organised and very informative.

It was great to see so many old and new faces coming together and making or renewing friendships. If you have any suggestions for events to bring people together please leave a comment or contact LCHRA through the web page. We would love to see 100 plus people at the hall on a regular basis.


Fox control workshop

Fox activity is on the rise due to successful rabbit control and the upcoming fox breeding season.

The Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Food, WA and the Shire of Harvey, is holding a FREE Fox Control Workshop at the Harvey RSL Hall, Becher ST,  Harvey on the 13th July. The events starts at 2pm.

The workshop will have information and demonstrations in the latest fox control options such as;

  1. Trap designs (cage, soft jaw)
  2. Baiting options (eggs, ejector)
  3. Barrier fencing, and
  4. Timing and permits

There is a playground at the venue so bring the kids along as well.

Registrations essential so email your interest to info@peelharveybiosecurity.info

Red Cross seeking feedback

Red Cross has appointed a company to assess their performance following the fires in January 2016 and invites your comments. Following is the text of the email:

In response to the bushfires in January 2016, Red Cross has been working with the communities in the Shires of Harvey and Waroona to implement a bushfire recovery program. As a resident of the Shire of Waroona or Harvey during the fire, we would like to invite you to contribute to an important evaluation.

Red Cross is undertaking an independent external evaluation of their ongoing recovery Program to better understand what is working well and what areas of the Program could be strengthened. SDF Global has been commissioned to undertake this twelve month evaluation and is seeking your assistance through completion of a survey in the below link.  The objectives of the evaluation are to:

  1. Assess the relevance, appropriateness and effectiveness of Red Cross’ recovery work in response to the Waroona/Yarloop/Harvey bushfire event WA;
  2. Identify ways to strengthen the value of Red Cross’ contribution to community recovery processes; and
  3. Make recommendations for improvement, potential replication and scaling up in future programs.

By participating in this survey you will be contributing to the continuous improvement of Red Cross programs. In addition, your feedback through answering these questions will assist Red Cross to improve response for communities just like yours into the future.

The survey in the below link will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete, depending on the amount of comment you wish to add.  The answers are mainly in a simple tick box format asking your opinions of Red Cross support and whether it has been of benefit to you.  Please note that you may skip any questions at any time, however, we really would appreciate you putting time aside to contribute comments if at all possible.

Please also note that all responses are 100% anonymous and confidential.

Please click here to commence survey:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RedCrossBushfireRecovery_CommunitySurvey

The survey closes on Friday 31st of March.

We would greatly appreciate you circulating this email and link to your family, friends and networks within the Shires.

If you would like further information on the evaluation or the survey please feel free to contact Maria, Dorothy or Charlie at SDF Global Pty Ltd on Phone: 08 9582 9228 or email at: sdfglobal@sustain.net.au

RHDV1 K5 pest rabbit biocontrol – national release

Following is an announcement from the Department of Agriculture and Food

Current situation

      • National release of a new strain of the Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus, called RHDV1 K5, commenced in the first week of March at more than 600 sites across the country.
      • In Western Australia there have been 135 release sites.
      • RHDV1 K5 is not a new virus, but is a naturally occurring Korean variant of RHDV1 already present in Australia.
      • It is expected that RHDV1 K5 will work better in the cool-wet regions of Australia, where the existing strain has not been so successful.
      • Pest rabbits are Australia’s most destructive agricultural and environmental pest animal, costing upwards of $200 million in lost agricultural production annually.
      • RHDV1 K5 is anticipated to slow down the increase in pest rabbit numbers, by reducing rabbit populations by up to ~ 40%.
      • The goal is for RHDV1 K5 to ‘boost’ current management.
      • The release is the culmination of more than six years of research undertaken by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre RHD ‘Boost’ project.
      • This is the first release of a new rabbit biocontrol agent in 20 years.
      • To maximise the effectiveness of RHDV1 K5, the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) is seeking the support of release site managers, communities and the general public:
        • Domestic rabbit owners are advised to seek advice from their local veterinarian and use protective biosecurity measures to help keep their rabbits safe from infection.
        • Domestic rabbits with up to date vaccinations for the existing strain are likely to be safe from RHDV1 K5.
        • RHDV1 K5 will be most effective if supported by integrated pest management, with conventional control measures being undertaken following release of the virus.
        • A series of instructional ‘how-to’ videos on best practice rabbit control has been released by the Invasive Animals CRC.
        • Release sites, landholders located close to release sites, and members of the public are urged to get involved by using the RabbitScan (FeralScan) app to report rabbit sightings or signs of disease. This will help track the spread of the virus.
        • Land managers are strongly encouraged to carry out concurrent control for predators such as foxes.
        • The release is being delivered by the Invasive Animals CRC with major financial and in kind resources provided by the Australian and state governments, and industry and non-government organisations.

More information

    • For more information visit DAFWA’s RHDV1 K5 web pages – agric.wa.gov.au/rhdv.
    • For a detailed summary of field and experimental data into the efficacy of RHDV – PestSmart website.
    • For more on RHDV protection and prevention – Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) website
    • The RabbitScan app is available from iTunes or GooglePlay, or can be downloaded from the FeralScan website.
    • The video series on best practice rabbit control can be downloaded from the PestSmart website.
    • The Invasive Animals CRC issues regular RHD Boost E-updates to report on progress of the release program. To subscribe go to pestsmart.org.au/subscribe.