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Support for weed control and other threats

Weeds are a major threat to our native grasslands and agricultural land across the Western Grassland Reserve. They can quickly take over and spread to nearby properties, leaving little space for grazing animals and native species.

If you own or manage a property in the Western Grassland Reserve, there are a number of support services available to support weed and pest control.

Senecio Macrocarpus

Wyndham City Council’s Land Protection Grant Scheme

This scheme focuses on:

  • protecting native vegetation
  • controlling weeds
  • revegetating your property.

Choose to do the work yourself for a financial incentive ($50 to $100 per hectare) or council will cover up to 75% of an experienced weed contractor’s fees. Please call 1300 023 411 for more information.

Melton City Council’s Environmental Enhancement Rate Rebate program

This program offers rate rebates to eligible landowners.For more information, contact the Environmental Services team on 9747 7200.

Property acquisition

All privately-owned properties within the Western Grassland Reserve are covered by a Public Acquisition Overlay (PAO). This means that the Victorian Government has reserved the land for a public purpose and that it will be acquired.

Please email us or call 136 186 to speak to our team about selling your property.

FAQs for landowners

  1. If you want to sell your property, please contact our team to begin the process.
  2. We recommend you seek independent professional legal advice. Costs for professional legal expenses can be claimed when the property is sold to the Victorian Government.
  3. You can seek your own valuation. We will reimburse you for reasonable valuation expenses associated with selling your property to the Victorian Government, subject to your property being sold to us.
  4. We arrange for an independent valuation of your property through the Valuer-General Victoria (VGV).
  5. We make you an offer based on the VGV’s valuation.
  6. If there’s a difference in valuations, the VGV will facilitate a meeting with the valuers to discuss a resolution.
  7. If there’s a valid reason for a change to the VGV valuation following the valuer meeting, we will make a new offer based on that figure. If you agree, a contract will be sent to you. The terms of sale can be discussed at this point.
  8. The land will be transferred to the Crown and become part of the Western Grassland Reserve.

Please contact our team to discuss selling your property. We will explain the process, including land valuation and negotiation. We recommend that you seek professional legal advice on your specific circumstances.

Please note we will cover most expenses associated with the acquisition of your land, such as legal advice and valuation of your property, subject to your property being sold to us.

Please email us or call 136 186 to speak to our team about selling your property.

If you disagree with our offer, we encourage you to get another valuation from a qualified valuer. We will reimburse you for reasonable professional expenses associated with the sale of your property, once it's sold to us.

If the valuation is different to our purchase offer, the VGV will facilitate a discussion between the valuers to discuss reasons for difference, and whether there is a valid reason for change.

Please get in touch with us to discuss the valuation process further.

Compensation is based on the current market value of the land, disregarding any impact on value caused by the Public Acquisition Overlay and reservation for a public purpose.

If only part of your property is acquired, and this impacts the value of the remaining land and your ability to continue using that land, then you may be eligible for additional compensation.

No, you don’t need to do anything. However, the Victorian Government is committed to creating the Western Grassland Reserve, which means your property will be acquired at some stage.

Please let us know if your situation changes and you would like to sell your property.

Yes, we will prioritise the purchase of your property if you are suffering from hardship. The assessment is informed by an independent assessment by UnitingCare.

Please get in touch with our team to organise your assessment via email or call 136 186.

Yes, you can continue to live in your house. Only the area covered by the PAO will be considered for purchase.

If we can’t buy your property at the time you want to sell it, you can sell it to someone else.

If you are considering selling your property, you must notify the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action at least 60 days before the proposed date of sale. We can then check that you are eligible for compensation and make arrangements to assess the loss.

Land covered by a PAO can be purchased through compulsory acquisition. Compulsory acquisition is tightly managed in strict accordance with the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act.

If the Victorian Government contacts you about compulsory acquisition of your property, we recommend you seek professional legal advice.

You can generally continue to use your land as you’ve been doing previously. However, any changes to the way you use your land might need approval. These include:

  • building new structures
  • demolishing existing structures
  • changing agricultural land use
  • expanding agricultural land use.

The volcanic plains grassland is a threatened ecosystem. Damaging or destroying grasslands may be subject to significant fines or prosecution. Landowners and land managers also have legal responsibilities for managing noxious weeds.

In Victoria, a permit is needed to remove or lop native vegetation.

Hardship

Did you know that we prioritise buying properties from landowners facing hardship? This could be due to:

  • loss of the landowner’s or family member’s primary income
  • relationship breakdown
  • illness, including physical incapacity, hospitalisation, or mental illness of the landowner or family member
  • loss of a spouse or a loved one
  • domestic violence
  • other factors result in unforeseen changes in the landowner’s capacity to meet their obligations, whether through a reduction in income
  • an increase in non-discretionary expenditure.
  • unable to refinance property due to PAO.

If you are suffering from financial or personal hardship, please contact our team via email or call 136 186 and we can arrange an independent assessment.

Free confidential counselling

Landowners can access confidential support services, including free short-term counselling and advice. Please call Converge International Support Services on 1300 687 327.

If you need this information in your language, please contact Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) for help with translating and interpreting. Contact TIS National on 131 450 (within Australia) or visit www.tisnational.gov.au.

Find out more

For more information on the Western Grassland Reserve, please contact wgr.msa@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Page last updated: 24/01/24