FTLA News Update - December 2016

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Merry Christmas! Plus MAGAZINE REMINDER + NEW CHILD SAFETY LAWS + AWARDS GALORE + GATEWAY UPDATE + NATIVE VEG REGs & BASIN PLAN OPEN for COMMENT + GRANTS etc

Dear Member Groups,

The FTLA committee and staff would like to wish you and all our members our very best wishes for the festive season and happy Landcaring in 2017!

Thank-you to our new and existing members and friends for your support and involvement and for helping to make 2016 an enjoyable and satisfying year, in this the thirtieth year for both Landcare and the FTLA! Please forward relevant items to your members who may be interested. These emails are only sent to the group contact, and to Landcare support staff where listed. Apologies for any cross-postings.

Please note that the FTLA office will be closing on the 24th December and reopening on the 9th January 2017. Have a wonderful break and Kelly and I look forward to talking you in 2017!

NEWS, RESOURCES

LAST CHANCE to receive the next LANDCARE MAGAZINE via Post!

Please remind your members that to receive the next issue of the Landcare magazine by post, readers need to complete this form at http://bit.ly/2cMb26P  as noted in the last Landcare magazine OR return the mailing slip provided with the last magazine. You can also use this form to unsubscribe, to change to reading the magazine in its electronic version, or to update your address. Members to either use the web form or the mailing slip sent with their magazine and follow the directions to confirm their subscription preferences. We’ve already emailed subscribers directly but not everyone uses email and we need confirmation by early January for the next issue. The FTLA has argued strongly for the continuation of the postal format as well as the new online options, however it is important that magazine only goes to those who want it. It’s something we have done about every ten years and we are past due! If you have difficulties with the form, have lost the mailing slip or have any other concerns, please email us at ftla@vff.org.au

NEW CHILD SAFETY STANDARDS (VIC)

Victoria has new child-safe standards to coming into effect 1 January 2017 and applies to any group that provide services for children. The advice from the Commission is that this includes any groups with activities which children (under 18) might attend with their families or as members of the public as well as any children specific activities such as schools programs. The response required standards are flexible and can be appropriate for the level of risk. Groups will need to adopt child safe policies, a statement of commitment to child safety and a code of conduct. However this isn’t about having the right paperwork, it’s about providing a safe environment for children. We will circulate further Landcare-specific information as it becomes available.

For further detail go to http://www.ccyp.vic.gov.au/child-safe-standards/standards/index.htm, call (03) 8601 5281 or email childsafestandards@ccyp.vic.gov.au. Our Community also has a handy webinar at https://www.communitydirectors.com.au/icda/events/?articleId=7133

Activity leaders and organisers need a Working With Children Check, even if parents are present. Parliament has introduced further changes are planned for later next year, when supervision by someone with a working with children check will no longer be sufficient. Unless volunteers are taking part in an activity with a child in the same way that a child participates, e.g. planting at a planting day, each person who has contact with children will need a Working With Children Check. For more information go to http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/   or call 1300 652 879

AWARDS WINNERS: CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF LANDCARE

Over 200 landcarers celebrated Landcare’s 30th anniversary at Parliament House on 25 November 2016.

Alice Knight OAM was recognised as 2016 Joan Kirner Landcare Award recipients, and Peter Berrisford, Irene Pearey, Melissa Ainsworth, Dorothy Reid, Doug Hansford, Jim DeHennin, Colleen Lomas, Michael McMurtrie, Allan Stute, and Craig Bush were recognised with Executive Committee Service Awards. The FTLA would like to congratulate all the recipients, many of whom have been long-term group contacts, and in particular Peter Berrisford who has been FTLA Treasurer since 2008 in addition to his local group and network roles. For more details https://www.landcarevic.org.au/state-government-news/celebrating-30-years-of-landcare-in-victoria

The FTLA also celebrated its 30th year in December with current and past committee, recognising long-time committee members Richard Jamieson and Sue Campbell OAM for their extraordinary dedication to the organisation and its members over those thirty years.

2016 PARKS VICTORIA KOOKABURRA AWARDS ANNOUNCED

The Kookaburra awards recognise and honour individuals and groups who have made an outstanding voluntary contribution to the Victorian park system. The FTLA would like to congratulate FTLA members recognised in this year’s awards, including the Tarrangower Cactus Control Committee, Jim Irving, Julie Davies, Graeme Stockton, Michael Moore, and especially those recognised for their Lifetime Achievement including Vicki Boyle, Marie Jones, and Bernie Fox (Posthumous award).

INVASIVE ANIMALS CRC ANNUAL AWARDS 2016

Congratulations to Geoff McFarlane who has been recognised by the Participant’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Invasive Animal Management! Geoff is the current chair of the Bellarine Landcare Group Rabbit Awareness Program, which have successfully mapped over 1200 warrens along the roadside in the region. For more information go to http://www.invasiveanimals.com/about-us/corporate/awards/  

NEW LANDCARE GATEWAY – first two months

In the first two months after launch, over 11,000 visitors have visited the Landcare Gateway. Total page-views up by over 30%, and mobile usage is up a massive 92%. The website is also designed for improved accessibility for people with low vision, assisted by easier to read fonts and includes attributes that enable screen reader technologies.

The new website loads twice as fast as the old Gateway and is faster to use, which is important for many landcarers with slow internet connections. There have been some trade-off with groups encouraged to store documents offsite - for more information about online storage platforms go to https://www.landcarevic.org.au/resources/online-document-management/ . All the content from the previous website is still available, just email landcarevic@gmail.com with details if you are missing anything. Also email if you need login access, or have any issues or have discovered any 'bugs' that need fixing!

Your help is needed to make sure relevant and accurate content can be shared with the whole Landcare community. Begin by looking for your group or network and to start updating your content, especially your contact information so that people can find your group!

LANDCARE BUDGET CHANGES

At the beginning of December, it was announced that $100 million would be returned to Landcare as part of the backpacker tax deal with the Greens. This was quickly followed by an announcement that the government saved over $350 million by cancelling the Green Army program, including Round Five of the Green Army for which applications were already submitted in June 2016. The Green Army was originally funded for $535 million over four years in 2014, largely via a $484 million cut to the National Landcare Program.

Stay safe this summer - new VicEmergency app launched

The new VicEmergency app provides access to warnings and incidents for fires, floods, storms, earthquakes and water safety. The VicEmergency app replaces the FireReady app and is now available from the App Store or Google Play. Keep a watch on the Facebook and Twitter accounts, ABC radio or the hotline 1800 226 226. Stay safe this fire season!

UPDATE: PREPARING FOR THE RELEASE OF RHDV1 K5

The Invasive Animals CRC is working hard to finalise preparations for the strategic release of the Korean strain of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (known as RHDV1 K5). Over the past few weeks more than 600 release sites have been emailed or contacted by phone about the next steps in being involved, and these sites can expect further information to be mailed out early in the new year. As part of the National RHDV Monitoring Program, we encourage everyone to continue to monitor and map rabbit sighting and evidence of disease via the online resource called RabbitScan. Data can be added to RabbitScan online via the website www.rabbitscan.org.au or via the smartphone apps available from the iTunes and GooglePlay stores – simply search for ‘Rabbit Scan’ (be sure to include a space). RabbitScan currently has more than 12,000 records showing evidence of rabbits in different regions of Australia, which is assisting in tailoring control methods to where they are needed most.

VOLUNTEERS AND SEXUAL HARASSEMENT

We’d like to think that sexual harassment is extremely rare among landcarers, but it has been raised in a couple of groups, so it is timely to remember that Under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 volunteers and unpaid workers are protected from sexual harassment in the same way as paid staff.

Volunteer organisations have a positive duty to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate sexual harassment as far as possible, in the same was as employer organisations. If you receive a complaint or become concerned about behaviour there are a number of places to go for assistance including the Human Rights Commission (1300 292 153) or JusticeConnect (8636 4400). Some types of sexual harassment may also be offences under criminal law and should be reported to the police, including indecent exposure, stalking, sexual assault and obscene or threatening communications, such as phone calls, letters, emails, text messages and postings on social networking sites.

There are also resources available via http://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/index.php/volunteers-and-equal-opportunity

LEGAL RESOURCE UPDATES

Not-for-profit Law has updated the following resources on the Information Hub:

• Financial powers and reporting obligations (VIC)

• Voluntary cancellation or winding up of an incorporated association (VIC)

• General protections for employees and contractors under the Fair Work Act

• Modern awards and enterprise agreements

• Engaging and working with youth volunteers (VIC)

NATIONAL LANDCARE CONFERENCE WRAP UP

Some conference sessions were recorded including the plenary and panel session on future direction for Landcare. Presentations are available via the Landcare Australia website: http://nationallandcareconference.org.au/speakers/

COPIES OF PAST MAGAZINES AVAILABLE

The FTLA has a number of copies of past Victorian Landcare magazines available, including the current issue, if you would like additional copies or to use them for promotional purposes. We are happy to send them out in batches of ten or more. Let us know if you would find them useful.

GRANTS & OPPORTUNITIES

PEST ANIMAL AND WEED CONTROL GRANT (AUST GOVT)

Funding is available through the Control tools and technologies for established pest animals and weeds competitive grants programme in 2016–17, to support the development of, and/or improvement to innovative and forward-thinking control tools and technologies Applications close 5pm Mon 23 Jan 2017.

For more information go to: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/pests-diseases-weeds/pest-animals-and-weeds/wp-comp-grants-programme

NORMAN WETTENHALL SMALL ENVIRONMENTAL GRANT SCHEME

The Small Environmental Grant Scheme provides support for groups or individuals undertaking biodiversity conservation projects in Australia. Projects of up to $10,000 can be about one or more of the following: monitoring, recording and sharing data, delivering community education, providing community capacity building (training), research and science, or landscape restoration and education (Victoria only).

For more information or to apply, visit: http://nwf.org.au/grants/small-environmental-grants/  . The February 2017 – grant round opens 20th December 2016

BUILDING BETTER REGIONAL FUND (AUST GOVT)

The Community Investments Stream will invest in local events and activities, strategic regional plans and leadership and capability building activities that provide economic and social benefits to regional and remote communities. The building better regions will only invest in projects outside major capital cities. Applications open 18 January 2017.

For more information go to: https://www.business.gov.au/Assistance/Building-Better-Regions-Fund/Building-Better-Regions-Fund-Community-Investments

CITIZEN SCIENCE GRANTS

Citizen Science Grants is an element of the Inspiring Australia - Science Engagement Programme. It provides grants on a competitive basis to support community participation in scientific research projects that have a national impact. Closes on 17 February 2017.

For more information go to: https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/inspiring-australia-science-engagement/citizen-science-grants

GET INVOLVED!

VOLUNTEERING VICTORIA: EMERGENCY VOLUNTEER MATCH

Volunteering Victoria has made its very first spontaneous emergency volunteer match through our HelpOUT pilot program in Geelong and surrounding regions. In support of fire recovery efforts in Wye River, they matched Wye River Landcare to a local holiday maker and volunteer who helped to deliver 50 bird boxes built by a high school VCAL program in Monbulk for installation in the bush around Wye River.

 If you, your friends, colleagues or family are interested in volunteering to support community recovery following a disaster, please register your interest through http://volunteeringvictoria.org.au/helpout/

NATIVE VEGETATION REGULATIONS RELEASED FOR COMMENT

The review team is seeking comments from people who may be affected by, or who are responsible for implementing, the proposed regulatory system changes. It is important to identify any potential implementation issues with the proposed changes before the planning scheme amendments are adopted.

Submissions are due 5:00pm on 5 February 2017. For more information go to: https://engage.vic.gov.au/native-vegetation-review/review-make-submission

PROPOSED BASIN PLAN AMENDMENTS: SUBMISSIONS OPEN

The Murray-Darling Basin Plan is about ensuring a healthy and productive system for future generations and is a partnership between the ACT, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and the Commonwealth governments. Amendments are proposed based on research, monitoring, talking to local communities and working with industry experts.

Submissions on the proposed changes close Fri 10 Feb 2017. For more information go to: http://www.mdba.gov.au/publications/mdba-reports/basin-plan-amendments

EVENTS COMMUNITY LANDCARE AND AGRICULTURAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

The Community Landcare and Agriculture Leadership program covers community leadership, conflict resolution, governance, community capacity and resilience and trends in the NRM sector. Expressions of Interest due 17th January 2017 for Goulburn Broken and North East regions.

For more information go to:

GB:https://www.gbcma.vic.gov.au/downloads/Events/CLALP_2017_flyer_002.pdf NE: http://www.necma.vic.gov.au/Projects/Current-projects/Sustainable-Agriculture/Community-Leadership-Program

SUMMER BY THE SEA

The Summer by the Sea highlights over 50 fun, free, family events in the Far South West in January 2017. The program includes environmental education programs run by volunteers, DELWP and Parks Victoria, as well as other relevant events in the region.

To view the full event flyer go to https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a13d73b4a875e85017359898e/files/SUMMER_BY_THE_SEA_FSW_2017.pdf

PLAN YOUR OWN EVENTS AROUND THE “DAYS”:

Remember when linking your event to an official “Day” to register with the appropriate organisation to maximise your promotional opportunities http://www.environment.gov.au/about/media/events/index.html

January

• National Bird Day - 5th

• Australia Day - 26th

--- These newsletters are compiled from many sources, and thank-you to those who supplied the information.