Author: Anthony Jones



Trailer-mounted sprayer

The following equipment is owned by the Group and is available to members on short term loan:
400L Trailer-mounted sprayer – 4m boom, 50m hand spray line.
60L spray tank and pump to fit most quad bikes
1 x Rabbit burrow smoker
2 x Potti putki tree seedling planters
2 x Georges tree seedling planters
2 x kidney-shaped tree seedling buckets.

Contact Trevor Jones: tel:5265 6126, email for further info or to order.

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The Facts about Pindone:

Pindone poisons rabbits. It does not kill dogs.

Like all farm chemicals, pindone baited carrots should be handled with care. Opened bags should not be accessible to farm animals, pets or children. Empty bags should be burnt.

A NRA (National Registration Authority For Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals, Canberra) 2002 review of Pindone found no problems with carrot bait on non-target species.

The report concludes:In general, it is considered that there is a low risk of primary poisoning if pindone is applied according to appropriate directions. Many species are likely to avoid open areas where rabbits feed and where pindone baits are laid. Secondary consumption appears to be a low risk with few field reports of impacts on non-target species. Correct baiting practices are thought to reduce risk to acceptable levels as long as these are followed closely and care is taken when applying pindone bait.”

It goes on to say: “Secondary poisoning, where the family dog, wedge-tail eagles and other raptors become affected after eating poisoned rabbit carcasses does not seem to be a problem, which is why the product was recommended for urban areas, golf courses, horticultural areas and hobby farms in the first place.”

“While few farm animals enjoy eating carrots, there still remains a risk where unsealed bags of treated carrots or oats are accessed by animals or humans. However, the effects of pindone are slow acting and reversible. An antidote is available from a vet to deal with accidental poisoning.”

The reference to “correct baiting practices” in this case means that carrot bait should be trailed thinly in a line, preferably in a shallow trench made with discs or a hoe. Rabbits will follow a trail of freshly turned soil and retrieve the bait piece by piece.

Non-target species such as wallabies, kangaroos and possums may become interested in carrots where they are heaped.

The report can be found at:

Going back to poisoning dogs: Michelle Smith, R&D Manager, Animal Control Technologies (the outfit that supplies pindone) has calculated the number of rabbits a dog would need to eat to contract secondary poisoning: “In the unlikely worst case event that a rabbit that has just eaten a full feed of bait is killed and eaten whole by a dog, the dose of bait would be less than a 10th of what is need to kill a mid-sized dog with a single dose. We have calculated that a dog would need to eat about 13 rabbits that had each just eaten the maximum dose of bait to get an acute lethal exposure. While there is always a range of outcomes (some succumb to less and some need much more etc) the risks are still low. The risks increase a bit if the dog eats a few rabbits each time the bait is applied (i.e. gets a series of doses a few days apart) but to date we’ve had no reports of this occurring.

Ed (pers comm): In previous years when we have used pindone carrot baits, most of the rabbits died underground. Those carcasses that the dogs did find were not consumed with enthusiasm, if at all. At this time of the year (summer) the heat, the flies and/or the ants are guaranteed to quickly make a dead rabbit fairly unappetising .

In my opinion it is sound practice to keep pets locked up during bait laying and the next morning until you have assessed what risks might exist.

There is also some good advice on the Department of Primary Industries website at

BHLG sources its pindone carrot bait from:

Barongarook Weed & Vermin Control Pty Ltd

ABN 92 008 596 406

385 Barongarook Rd, Barongarook 3249

Phone: 0438 484 884 Fax: 03 52 156 249

All queries for further information should be referred to them in the first instance.

PLEASE NOTE: This information applies only to pindone carrot bait. It does not apply to pindone oat bait. ed.


Now is your last chance to order Rabbit bait for 2013.

As green pickings in the paddock disappear, rabbits are invading the gardens of the Barrabool Hills. Apart from close-pruning the flowers and digging holes in the lawn, inviting the critters close to the house may encourage them to start digging around and under the foundations.

An offering of fresh carrots will seem like breakfast at Tiffany’s to a rabbit, but the 3 doses of pindone will fairly quickly fix the threat to the garden and substantially reduce the overall rabbit population getting ready to breed in the rainy season. Pindone is a very effective poison when delivered in 3 spaced doses.

To the best of our knowledge Barrabool Hills Landcare Group is the most active community organisation involved in coordinated rabbit baiting in the Geelong area. Let’s all try to keep it that way.

If anyone is surveying rabbit populations before and after baiting and would like send us their data, we’d be happy to publish it on our web site:

Please note that Pindone kills only rabbits. It does not kill dogs. For further info go to “Pindone Facts” in the Animal and Plant Pests section of our website. A copy of the Carrot Bait order form can also be found there.

RABBIT HOTLINE: Kaye – 5265 1241 

Be a responsible Landcarer: Order your carrots Today.

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European Rabbit
(Oryctolagus cuniulus)

extracts from a “PestSmart Rabbit Factsheet” publication of the Invasive Animals CRC

Habitat: In Australia, rabbits are widely distributed. They prefer low vegetation, well-drained,
deep sandy soils and refuge such as scrub, blackberries or fallen logs.

Rabbits construct large warrens up to 3 m deep and 45 m long. Where there is abundant surface
cover, rabbits may live above the ground.

Nutrition: Rabbits are herbivores that eat a wide variety of plants, including crops, roots, pastures, young trees and vines. Their average daily intake is 100–150 g.

In arid areas they need access to water, but elsewhere they get enough moisture from their food.

Reproduction & lifecycle: Females can breed at any time of the year if there is sufficient feed available. They can begin breeding at four months old and may produce five or more litters in a year, with up to five young per litter. Rabbits have a gestation time of 28–30 days.

Biological & behavioural weaknesses:
Rabbits are dependent on warrens or other shelter so destruction of these will greatly reduce the local rabbit population. Rabbits are also highly susceptible to predators and disease. In Australia, their most significant predators include feral cats, foxes and dingoes. Two of the most deadly diseases to rabbits are myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD, formerly known as calicivirus). However, variable virulence of different virus strains and increased genetic resistance by rabbits to the diseases over time has lessened their effectiveness as biological controls1.

Distribution: European rabbits are native to the Iberian Peninsula (Spain & Portugal), France,
Gibraltar and north-western Africa (Morocco & Algeria).

Domesticated rabbits were first introduced to Australia in 1788. The first feral populations were observed in Tasmania in 1827. Thomas Austin introduced wild rabbits to his property in Geelong, Victoria, for hunting in 1859.
European rabbit
Lapidge, K., Braysher, M. and Sarre, S. (2004-present) [Online]. Web-based
( accessed 8 Sep 2012

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Book Launch Hugely Successful

On a balmy Barrabool Hills evening under a cloudless sky, the party to launch the “Flora ot the Hills” book began with a “Welcome to Country” ceremony by members of the Wadawurrung tribe, in front of an audience of 60 plus people at Ross and Lyn George’s little chunk of paradise-“Barraview”.

The research, compilation, editing and publication of the book was masterminded by students and staff of the Gordon TAFE College, under the supervision of Angie Poole. Local guidance was provided by Kaye Rodden, Stephen Murphy and Elissa Ashton-Smith (Geelong Landcare Network).

Concurrent with the production of the book was a photographic competition to find a suitable image for the front cover. Brien Cohn, chief judge of the competition, announced the 3 winners:

  • Best Junior and winner overall: Amber Conron,
  • Best camera shot: Geoff Anson and
  • Best phone shot: Stephen Murphy

Prizes for the competition winners were sponsored by Austeng

Jim Seager (in red) presents gifts of appreciation to Elissa Ashton-Smith, Stephen Murphy and Angie Poole


A selection of the entries can be seen on this website under “Resources/Gallery”.


Mr. Gib Wettenhall, representing the Wettenhall Environment Trust, the project’s major sponsor, officially launched the Book.

Many thanks to our sponsors of the Book – Wettenhall Environment Trust, Bendigo Bank, Surf Coast Shire and the Gordon, plus the sponsors of the evening – Barrabool Hills Brewery and Barwon Ridge Wines.

A pdf file of the book itself can be found on this website. Go to “Publications”, find “Flora of the Hills” and click on “Read Blog detail”. At the bottom of the page click on the green text “flora of the hills”.

A limited first edition of the book was distributed to those members who attended the event. A second edition is expected to be published shortly, and will be available from the Barrabool Hills Landcare Group.



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President off to Japan

BHLG President, Kaye Rodden, has been invited to deliver a paper to an International Landcare Conference in Japan next week.

Titled “Global Resilience Through Self-Reliance – The Landcare Model”, the event has attracted a world-wide audience, with delegates from as far afield as Germany, NZ, Iceland and USA. The conference will be hosted by Nanzan University in Nagoya.

Kaye’s paper is titled “The Meaning of Support – What helps to make a strong, resilient landcare community and how government can help”. The conference runs from 5 to 8 November.

A number of field trips have been arranged before and after the conference, many to look at the recovery and rehabilitation of land around Fukushima.

The accompanying photo catches Kaye busy researching material for her paper. While the Barrabool Hills doesn’t feature in the text, there are a number of local pics in her “power point” presentation.

Bon voyage Kaye.


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Flora of the Hills

“Flora of the Hills” Field Guide project
Introduction by Kaye Rodden

This is the story of history and science, passion and enquiry coming together in an endeavour to determine what the Barrabool Hills landscape looked like before European colonisation in the early 1820’s. Why….so that those in the community wishing to plant native vegetation, could go some way towards “recreating the original landscape”.

It is also the story of partnerships, between the TAFE students and staff of the Gordon, the landcare community and key sponsors such as the Wettenhall Environment Trust, the Surf Coast Shire and the Bendigo Bank.

The result is a beautifully produced field guide for the Flora of the hills, supported by documented reference of over 80 indigenous species, mapped during the field studies by the students, which will be available on the group’s new website. The group are also running a photographic competition to select an image for the cover, with prizes available for the winners of a range of categories, provided by local award winning engineering company Austeng.

Also available on the website will be a chronological summary, supported by historic sketches and photos, of how and why the vegetation has changed over the last nearly 200 years.
To celebrate the publication of the Field Guide, the culmination of nearly 300 hours of course work for the Gordon students, and hundreds more for community members, the field guide will be launched at a “cocktail party and dinner’ in a marquee on the top of the Barrabool Hills overlooking the volcanic plains…. There will also be an exhibition of the winning photographs.
This has been an opportunity not just to learn about how the current Barrabool Hills Landscape came into being but also to establish new partnerships with the youth of Geelong, and hopefully inspire them to value this landscape for the future!

Click here to go to the pdf file:    Flora of the Hills ed2

Ed’s Note: Further data supporting this publication can be found at Stephen Murphy’s web site:

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Equipment for loan to members

400L trailer-mounted spray unit – 4m boom, 50m hand spray line.
2 x Kidney tree seedling buckets with straps
2 x Potti putki tree seedling planters
2 x Georges tree seedling planters
60L motorbike-mountable spray unit, fits most quad bikes
1 x Rabbit burrow smoker

Further info, talk to Trevor 5265 6126

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Equipment for hire

We have various equipment available for use by Members.

They include:
400 L Trailer-mounted spray unit
2 x Kidney tree seedling buckets with shoulder straps
2 x Potti putki tree seedling planters
2 x Georges tree seedling planters
60 L motorbike mountable spray unit
1 x Rabbit burrow smoker

For further info talk to Trevor 5265 6126

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Books of the Barrabool Hills

Books of the Barrabool Hills


The publications listed below were not necessarily written about the Hills, but some reference is made in all of them to the Barrabool Hills and their surrounds:

Barrabool, Land of the Magpie” by Ian Wynd, 1992, published by the Barrabool Shire.

Intimate Landscapes” by Fred Kruger (photograher), 2012, published by National Gallery of Victoria.

Minnie, Memoirs of a Squatters Daughter” , by Mary Emily Susannah (Minnie) Brewer. 2005, published by Lois Dean 2005.

Gnarwarre History and Recipe Book“, by Nola Noble and Flora Weaven circa 1998.

Early Murgheboluc“, by Irene Sarah Venters 1990, published by John Garner Bookcrafts, Geelong.

A Changing Landscape, Celebrating Landcare in the Barrabool Hills“, Booklet by Kaye Rodden 2010, published by Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.

John Muston, Draper, Squatter, Speculator in Colonial Australia“, by Robert Wuchatsch 2017, published by Stony Rises Run Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.

Barro-abil, Our Beautiful Barrabool Stone”, by Jennifer Bantow and Ros Lewis 2017, published by the authours.

We are attempting to compile a list of publications which contribute to building an historical picture of the Barrabool Hills. If anyone has books or photos to add to this list, I would be very pleased to hear from you.

Brent Rodden, e:


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Vic Landcare Award

BHLG President, Kaye Rodden was honoured with a Highly Commended Australian Government Individual Landcarer award at Government House in Melbourne recently.

The award was made made by the Victorian Governor Linda Dessau and the Minister for the Environment, Hon. Lilly D’Ambrosio.

Kaye’s nominator was Christa Jones, who was on hand to witness the award.

Congratulations to Kaye and Christa. It was a good effort for a little old landcare group to compete with a plethora of candidates,  most of whom were paid staff, representing Networks, Focus Groups, Catchment  Management Authorities and the peak body, Landcare Victoria.

Other local awardees were: Bret Ryan (Corangamite CMA) and  Simon Falkiner (SCIPN).

Kaye appears in the photo with Terry Hubbard from Landcare Victoria Inc., who won the top prize – the Joan Kirner Award.

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