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In 2013, the Community Weed Alliance of the Dandenongs Inc (CWAD) was set up as an alliance of local community environmental volunteers working in the iconic Dandenong Ranges to deal with the growing weed problem across the Dandenong Ranges landscape. CWAD’s aim is to restore the natural biodiversity of the area over 10 years using a Task Force mechanism.

By the use of the words  ‘Dandenong Ranges’, CWAD means the Dandenong Ranges from Montrose on the North-western border to Upwey and beyond to the Lysterfield Valley on the South Western border and as far South East as Gembrook and the North East to Mt Evelyn.

Dandenong Ranges also includes the electrified railway line passing through Upwey and finishing at Belgrave plus the Puffing Billy railway track, starting at Belgrave and finishing at Gembrook.

 

CWAD consists primarily of representatives of Landcare organisations and Friends Groups in the Dandenong Ranges region (or working in this area), in particular those that have a focus on the weeds within the natural environment.  This includes Friends of Hazel Vale Valley, Friends of Minak Reserve, Friends of Sassafras Creek, Monbulk Landcare, Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group, Southern Ranges Environment Alliance (SREA), Cardinia Catchment Landcare Group, Stoppitt.  CWAD encourages other like minded groups to have their representatives join the committee.


The Vision of CWAD is...

To work with members, and the community to eradicate the weeds of the Dandenong Ranges by using a Task Force mechanism, which is run over a 10 year period, thus enhancing the biodiversity of the area.

CWAD understood in 2013 that there are many organisations all trying to address environmental management in the Dandenongs. Individually, each entity had separate budgets and priorities.

However, collectively the community felt we just were not collaborating well enough to best make use of what limited resources were available. Hence, a Task Force approach!


The Mission of CWAD is...

To actively support member groups and private property owners in achieving environmental and other objectives by providing assistance through a range of activities including communication, education, funding, capacity building, and regional planning activities.


The Purpose of CWAD is...

To provide the framework to create a Task Force (to run over a 10 year period) to deal effectively with the weeds across the Dandenong Ranges, under the guidance, management and interest of the group’s members and private property owners.

CWAD will support and co-ordinate local environmental efforts by working with non-government organisations, government agencies and other stakeholders to develop a ‘whole of region’ approach to managing the area’s biodiversity to improve its sustainability through, primarily the eradication of weeds.

By pooling everyone's resources under an agreed approach and priority (Strategy) CWAD feel the Dandenong Ranges Weed Management program will be as efficient as possible. Some of the organsations in this Task Force, include: Yarra Ranges Council, Cardinia Council, Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria, VicRoads, AUSNET, DEWLP and community groups under CWAD, Southern Ranges Environment Association (SREA) and Yarra Ranges Landcare Network (YRLN).


CWAD meeting Minister of the Environment Lisa Neville in April 2015, with Parks Victoria, Yarra Ranges Council, Cardinia Council


In 2013 CWAD was fortunate to have been able to secure a Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority (PPWCMA) grant through their Community Grant Program. This allowed them to run a pilot program where landowners adjacent to Sherbrooke Forest (along Moore Break) were approached and weed works were carried out on their properties.

This complimented works carried out through the Urban Fringe Weed Management Initiative (UFWMI) by Yarra Ranges Council and works by Parks Victoria.

CWAD have now received funding from the Federal Government for Project Tradescantia which is detailed on this website. CWAD has monthly meetings and is involved in organizing community activities.

Tradescantia Community Information meeting, February 6, 2014 in Monbulk. Guest speaker, David McLaren at that time member of Bio-control Services Vic Team DEPI

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