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About Us

StopPitt is supported by the Yarra Ranges and Cardinia Shire Councils – removing Pittosporums from roadsides

Pittosporum control on a large scale is being undertaken in the Dandenong Ranges

StopPitt Strategic Plan

StopPitt  is a community led weed control program dedicated to the control of Sweet pittosporum.


Anecdotal evidence suggests that only a single tree was known to exist in Menzies Creek in the Dandenong Ranges in the 1940’s – however now thousands can be found in the area - at densities of around four to eight thousand per hectare.


A citizen science project at the Menzies Creek Primary School was initiated in 2012, which estimated that Sweet Pittosporum’s invasion rate was around 80 metres per year. This study and the efforts of control advocates such as Jeff Walker was the catalyst that led to StopPitt gaining momentum.  During this period, the Shire of Yarra Ranges also conducted a comprehensive weed survey which revealed that the Dandenong Ranges were encircled by invasions of Sweet Pittosporum.


It is believed that at an invasion rate of 80 metres per year, the Dandenong Ranges will be completely covered in dense Sweet Pittosporum thickets in less than 25 years.


Control work has commenced in Menzies Creek and other townships and suburbs in the region. Work is being undertaken on both public and private land. It is funded by the Community Weed Alliance of the Dandenongs instigated Bushfire Reduction Community Grants Programme, administered by the Port Philip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority.


Further project initiatives are proposed for the Cardinia and Monbulk Creek catchments and progressively will aim to address all invasions throughout the Dandenong Ranges and other impacted regions including the Mornington Peninsula, Baw Baw Shire and South Gippsland. Such a programme can move both sequentially and simultaneously among various locations, depending on funding, community interest and the number of volunteers.


Future control strategies and their implementation will be guided by research information from Monash and Latrobe Universities, Government Departments and other sources.


StopPitt has a Program Manager, an active Committee and specialist Advisory Committee comprising membership recruited from local community environmental groups, the Yarra Ranges and Cardinia Shire Councils and committed landholders.

StopPitt Committee

Chairman - Ben O’Leary


Ben is undertaking PhD studies into Pittosporum at Monash University and lives at Beaconsfield.

Vicki Boyle


Vicki has inspired many to care for our bush with her voluntary work over many years in the southern Dandenongs area including a major renovation of the bushland around the Trestle Bridge and the Belgrave Reservoir.   She won the Environmentalist of the Year award from the Shire of Yarra Ranges in 2012. She is currently involved with the Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group Inc. and on the committee for the Yarra Ranges Landcare Network.

Paul Connor


Paul has lived in Menzies Creek for 7 years and has used his horticultural backgound to plant trees and shrubs on his own property that will gradually replace the Pittosporum trees that he can see has taken over large tracts of public and private land.


He is a sound believer in the old adage that 'one years seeding is seven years weeding' and is keen to also see eradication of other prevalent weeds that can be seen in and around Menzies Creek.



Heidi has been a resident of Menzies Creek for almost 30 years and has seen Pittosporum spread through her area. She is passionate about the natural world and the ever increasing challenges that it faces. She is also interested is seeing Bobs Park cleaned up so it can become a Park utilised by the community again.

Darcy Duggan


Darcy is a biological consultant with over 36 years experience specialising in environmental impact assessment and mitigation, vegetation survey and data collection, vegetation ecology. His particular field of interest is in education and training in ecological management of vegetation, management of weed invasions in Australia and the use of indigenous flora for ornamental and revegetation and environmental rehabilitation. Darcy also possesses fauna ecology experience. He has been a resident of the Dandenongs for 31 years and is actively engaged in a number of conservation activities and Friends of groups

Debbie Weisgerber


Local hills bookkeeper always happy to look after local non profit organisations and keep their books in a simple easy to understand manner, will look after their payroll, BAS and keep them compliant.

Karen Alexander, OAM


Karen grew up in Belgrave and her father planted sweet pittosporum “because they were natives”. She and her brother removed them before the family home was sold a few years ago. She has more than 40 years experience working in the environment sector at local, state and national levels. She was co-founder of Johns Hill Landcare Group based in Emerald and is still on the committee; she also manages their Weed Neighbourhood projects. She has strong interest in governance: “good governance enables projects and all involved to work more efficiently and collaboratively”.

Project Manager - Matt Stephenson


Matt has worked on weed control projects for 20 years. Originally from East Gippsland .. he now resides in Warragul and manages the StopPitt Program in the Dandenong Ranges and a Blackberry control project at Corner Inlet.


PO Box 2160

Belgrave VIC 3160

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Designed By Sarah Van Stokrom

This website is supported by StopPitt, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

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