The Gillamii Centre in partnership with South Coast NRM hosted a blue gum reversion workshop at the Franklin District Country Club on the 16th February attracting a large crowd of interested landholders and industry representatives.
“It was a great day where people were able to share their knowledge about blue gum reversion. This is a very topical subject at the moment and it showed with over 70 people attending the day,” said Helen Parsons, Gillamii Centre Executive Officer.
Charlotte Powis, South Coast NRM Southern Soils Project officer said, “This workshop showcased all aspects of blue gum reversion. Topics included various methods used to remove blue gums and stumps; financial implications for the farming business and eligibility for offsets; soil health following plantation removal with regards to ground water, nutrients, soil acidity and soil carbon as well as the timely topic of smoke taint within the wine regions.”
The Department of Agriculture and Food WA’s Tim Overheu was MC for the day. Speakers included Geoff Rolland from Albany Plantation Forest Company who provided background into the south coast blue gum forestry industry, local farmers who discussed various reversion techniques and Brendan Taylor from Lincolns Accountants, Albany, presented some interesting insight regarding the taxation rules pertaining to plantations.
Charlotte Powis from South Coast NRM spoke about research investigating soil health and nutrients post blue gum removal. Masters student Sylvia Leighton from the University of Western Australia discussed the effect on soil biology and nutrition of different fertiliser strategies on re-sown pastures after single and double rotation blue gum plantations, and Stephen Frost from Stonemeal farm shared his experiences using Growsafe and biological farming processes.
After lunch participants travelled to three local properties to view the different blue gum reversion projects. Starting at Kieran Allison’s farm near Rocky Gully, participants viewed a large grinder in action before heading off to Peter Beech’s farm to see how he structured his blue gum trash wind rows to reduce smoke hazard for the local vineyards. The tour ended at Simon Hilder’s property, observing the results of some efficient clearing done in previous years.
The event was sponsored by South Coast NRM through the Australian Governments National Landcare Programme and Frankland Rural.
Pic: Kieran Allison talking about Blue gum reversion on his Rocky Gully farm.