JOINT MEDIA RELEASE WITH HON BARNABY JOYCE MP, MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE, MR DAN TEHAN MP, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR WANNON & MR ANDREW BROAD MP, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR MALLEE
The community is seeing results from the Australian Government’s commitment to protect the Wimmera’s natural environment and farming land with the announcement that over $100,000 in National Landcare Programme regional funding will be delivered by the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority through its community grants programme.
This funding has been awarded to 13 successful local community groups to help support a range of on-ground environmental and agricultural projects.
The funding will protect the Wimmera’s natural environment through a range of innovative local projects including community planting, installing nesting boxes and “Critter Cams” to support wildlife surveys, addressing damage caused by rabbits as well as supporting a range of other important, locally-based projects.
“Local Landcare networks and other community-based groups will use the National Landcare Programme funding to help restore local ecosystems and protect natural assets so the local community can enjoy the long-term benefit of a healthy and livable environment,” Minister Hunt said.
“Over the coming months, the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority will support local groups, to carry out important on-ground works – such as removing rabbit harbour hotspots and revegetation on farms to provide windbreaks, protect soil and link wildlife corridors,” Minister Joyce said.
The National Landcare Programme funding will support 13 local projects, including:
• Critter Cam – Nesting boxes in the ironbarks – The Stawell Urban Landcare Group will install nesting boxes and wildlife cameras in the Iron Barks Forest on the outskirts of Stawell with the help of Stawell Secondary College students. This project will support wildlife surveys and raise community awareness of the environmental values of the area.
• Increasing community participation in sustainable water management – Green Park Kindergarten will engage children and their families in a hands-on project to promote the importance of sustainable water use in dry Wimmera conditions and caring for the environment in a responsible manner.
• East Hindmarsh pest and weed control – The East Hindmarsh Landcare Group will support local landholders with targeted rabbit and weed control activities on the south east side of Lake Hindmarsh.
Andrew Broad, Federal Member for Mallee said the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority has a proven track record in managing projects that consistently deliver good environmental and farming outcomes across the region.
“This funding will enable projects to be undertaken over a large, diverse area, from the top of the Wimmera River to the north west Wimmera plains. The projects will engage volunteers in urban and rural settings to undertake a range of activities to support threatened species.
Dan Tehan, Federal Member for Wannon said the Government is ensuring that funding is invested locally to deliver real change that is targeted to improve the environment and the condition of our agricultural land.
“This is crucial because locals know what's best for their region and their community. This is a great opportunity for the local Landcare networks and other groups to work closely with their community to help protect and restore significant sections of Wimmera’s environment.”
The Government's total investment in natural resource management programmes amounts to over $2 billion over the next four years—of which $454 million is being invested through Australia’s natural resource management organisations.
For more information about the National Landcare Programme go to www.nrm.gov.au