From the CEO + Funding for Landcare + Policy and Planning Highlights + LVI News
After nearly a year of meeting by Zoom, the Landcare Victoria Board met face to face at Flowerdale on 17 and 18 December. This was an important meeting. The Board adopted a new strategic plan for Landcare Victoria (see below) and discussed Landcare Victoria’s organisational development program. The 2021 budget and operational plan were also on the agenda.
I have been delighted to attend a couple of Landcare events recently and to speak to Landcare committees and members about their needs and aspirations. The Bass Coast Landcare Network has shown tremendous leadership for Landcare in their region and beyond, and I was privileged to have the opportunity to speak about Landcare Victoria at their AGM. I was also delighted to attend the Christmas function of the Barabool Hills Landcare Group, just outside Geelong. This is a group that has shown great leadership over many years protecting and restoring an iconic landscape. These, and other interactions, are great learning opportunities for me and I am eager to meet with more groups in the New Year.
This has been a very challenging year for Landcare. Grounded as it is in community processes, the inability to meet, collaborate and volunteer together has been a particular loss. Congratulations to all those Landcare groups and their support staff who have battled through this difficult time to keep their groups and networks strong, ready to leap into a busy 2021. On behalf of Landcare Victoria, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
This grant opportunity is to support the creation of safe havens for threatened species. Safe havens are areas where invasive predators such as feral cats and foxes have been permanently removed from fenced areas and islands to provide long term protection for native wildlife. The objective of this program is to reduce extinction risk to nationally listed threatened species through strategic expansion of the safe haven network. Closes 11 January 2021.
The Victorian Rabbit Action Network is inviting community groups and organisations to apply for their new grant program of up to $5,000 to raise awareness of the rabbit issue and best practice control methods. For information, visit the new VRAN website: www.vran.com.au Closes 29 January 2021.
The Victorian Government has released a new strategy for the future development of agriculture in Victoria. According to Agriculture Victoria, working hand-in-hand with industry partners and the community will be critical to the successful implementation of this strategy. We think so too, and hope that Landcare will play an important role in supporting sustainable agricultural industries. To read the strategy and have your say, visit: www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/strategy
Not only does Agriculture Victoria have a new strategy, it has a new Minister. Congratulations to the Hon Mary Anne Thomas, Member for Macedon for her appointment as Minister for Regional Development and Minister for Agriculture. From her past comments in the Parliament, it is clear that the new Minister is a warm advocate for Landcare and we look forward to her continuing support in her new role.
This is likely old news to most in the Landcare community, but DELWP has announced a further six month extension to the Landcare Facilitator program.
New funding guidelines will be issued early in the new calendar year to ensure a timely decision about future funding. In the meantime, DELWP has issued a set of FAQs. These give you important guidance to begin preparing your application.
Landcare Victoria will continue to work with DELWP as the program is rolled out. We welcome advice from member groups about any issues of concern. This helps us in our engagement with DELWP on your behalf.
The Victorian Rabbit Action Network (VRAN) has launched a new website, to help support community action on rabbit management in Victoria.
The site was developed with ‘community’ front of mind and is aimed at helping people working in the rabbit management space, to increase their knowledge on best practice rabbit management and connect with others working in the industry.
The new website contains information on best practice rabbit management, training programs, videos, grant programs, research and so much more. Visit: www.vran.com.au
The Victorian Farmers Federation is a key partner for Landcare, being involved in its establishment and providing valuable support for many years. Congratulations to the newly elected President and Vice President of the VFF, Ms Emma Germano and Ms Danyel Cucinotta. Landcare Victoria looks forward to developing closer ties with the VFF which is a natural partner in the agricultural space.
Catchment Management Authorities are busy updating the regional catchment strategy for their various regions. This is an important opportunity for the Landcare community to ensure CMAs appropriately support the role and aspirations of community landcare. If your group or network has not engaged with your CMA yet, this is the time to do so. Contact details are available here: https://viccatchments.com.au/about-us/our-cma-regions/
Early in the New Year, Landcare Victoria will complete its new strategic plan. This is the plan to guide the business of Landcare Victoria itself. The plan is based on three key goals:
Each of these goals is supported by a series of strategic initiatives.
This is a sneak preview. We look forward to sharing the completed strategy in the New Year.
The Landcare Victoria office will be closed from 24 December to 4 January. Note also that Workplace Legal will close until 11 January, so the Employment Referral Service will be unavailable during this period.
We pay our respect to the Traditional Owners of the lands in Victoria.
We take inspiration from the legacy of Victorian Aboriginal people, who have produced food, while caring for the ecological systems that life depends upon, for tens of thousands of years.