Victorian Landcare Magazine - Spring 2016, Issue 67

Around the State – News from the Regional Landcare Coordinators

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Above: Students from the Snowy River campus of the School for Student Leadership are working in partnership with Snowy West Landcare Group planting the East Gippsland Rail Trail.

East Gippsland

East Gippsland had a good planting season, although heavy rains and floods in July caused some problems.

The Landcare community has been very active. Harriet Shing, Member of the Legislative Council for Eastern Victoria Region, visited East Gippsland recently. The Eastwood Landcare Group showed her their rainforest revegetation at Granite Creek in Bairnsdale and the Friends of Picnic Point Reserve showcased their successful projects.

Emma Orgill, the Regional Landcare Facilitator for East Gippsland, ran a successful primary producer bus tour across NSW in late June. Participants visited the properties of Martin Royds at Braidwood, David and Mary Marsh at Boorowa, Nigel Kerin at Yeoval, and Norm and Pip Smith at Wellington.

The region celebrated 30 years of Landcare in early September, sharing videos of the fabulous achievements of the East Gippsland Landcare community.

For further information contact Amanda Bartkowski on 5150 3851.

Goulburn Broken

Nineteen community members from the Goulburn Broken and North East CMA regions recently graduated from the 2016 Community Landcare and Agriculture Leadership Program.

A joint initiative of the two CMAs, this seven-day program involved a mix of field trips and workshop sessions. Feedback from participants was very positive with participants reporting increased confidence to lead others, adapt to change, and communicate effectively. Plans are underway to run the program again in 2017.

Eleven community Landcare and farming organisations were awarded $230,000 in grants through the Goulburn Broken CMA’s Beyond Soilcare Project. The funds will assist with delivering events, training, and paddock demonstrations to promote soil health and sustainable farming. Projects cover a range of topics from the role of compost on processing tomato production, to refining deep soil nitrogen testing, and reducing environmental losses in the grains industry.

For further information contact Tony Kubeil on 5761 1619.

Glenelg Hopkins

The south-west Landcare community celebrated 30 years of Landcare at a successful gathering at Willaura in June. The event, co-hosted by the CMA and the Upper Hopkins Land Management Group, was focused on sustainable farming. Landcarers from Portland to Ballarat learnt about current thinking on crop and pasture management.

Landcare legends, Peter and Christine Forster from Ararat, gave an inspirational presentation on their long history with Landcare groups and on-farm works. Despite rain and sleet, the 75 participants courageously finished the day with a tour of local projects.

The CMA monthly Landcare email newsletter continues to increase its distribution. The newsletter has information on funding opportunities, upcoming events and news stories. Please get in touch if you would like to be included on the mailing list.

For further information contact Tony Lithgow on 5571 2526.

North East

The CMA is currently undertaking consultation to renew the Regional Landcare Support Plan. This will identify the new priorities for supporting Landcare and other community groups. 

The CMA is assessing and identifying potential projects for development into grants from expressions of interest received for its 2016-17 Incentives and Community Grants for the North East.

Winners of the North East Natural Resource Management Awards will be announced in November during the celebration of 30 years of Landcare in the region. As well as Active Service Awards, a photographic competition award will also be given. Entrants in the My Favourite Place Photographic Competition, including a People’s Choice Award, are on the CMA website at www.necma.vic.gov.au.

For further information contact Tom Croft on (02) 6043 7648.

Corangamite

The Corangamite Rural Women’s Network gathered on the Bellarine Peninsula in August with 50 women visiting a sustainable goat farm that supplies gourmet cheeses to local wineries and restaurants.

At the Point Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve, the women learnt basket-weaving methods using spiny-head mat-rush from Wadawurrung Traditional Owners.

Landcare in the region is buzzing with events and activities to celebrate the 30-year anniversary. The Faces of Landcare in Corangamite storybook provides an insight into our inspiring and passionate volunteers.

Events and activities are listed on the Landcare Gateway at www.landcarevic.org.au.

For further information contact Tracey McRae on 5232 9100.

Port Phillip and Western Port

Thank you to all of the Landcare groups and networks that completed the recent 2015-16 Landcare Survey. The data collected through this survey will be used to prepare a regional report card, contribute to the statewide Landcare report card, and inform and support the case for continued investment in Landcare.

At recent meetings of two regional forums convened by the CMA – one for Landcare network leaders and the other for Landcare facilitators – each determined the purpose of their respective forum and there was remarkable similarity between the two purposes.

At both forums, participants wanted to learn from each other, connect with agencies such as the CMA, DEWLP and Melbourne Water, and identify opportunities for collaboration. The forums are held twice a year.

For further information contact Doug Evans on 8781 7920.

Citizen science was the focus of the 4th Annual Water Science Forum in Bendigo in June 2016.

Above: Citizen science was the focus of the 4th Annual Water Science Forum in Bendigo in June 2016.

North Central

The Future Farming Expo held in Swan Hill in April was attended by 140 people from a variety of agricultural, business and community sectors. This was followed by our annual volunteer recognition event.

The 4th Annual Water Science Forum, in partnership with the North Central Waterwatch program, was held in June. The forum focused on citizen science and featured the launch of a free app, allowing budding citizen scientists to capture biodiversity observations. Look for NatureBlitz in your app store.

For more information on the coming North Central Victoria Soil Health Guide, the 2016 Inspiring Women in Agriculture course and the 30 years of Landcare celebration event visit www.nccma.vic.gov.au.

For further information contact Tess Grieves on 5440 1890.

West Gippsland

The region has faced a difficult period with the recent dairy crisis. Several regional events have been run to support local dairy farmers through this tough period. The Tarwin Valley Development Group ran a dairy support day at the Fish Creek versus Kilcunda Bass footy clash, offering farmers and their families moral support and an ear to bend over a banana smoothie.

Wet conditions have helped the planting season, with a wide range of large and small-scale projects underway across the region.

Groups with ideas for revegetation, remnant protection, soil health or sustainable agriculture projects are invited to inform their local Landcare network through the regional expressions of interest process. Application forms are available at www.wgcma.vic.gov.au

For further information contact Kathleen Brack on 5613 5966.

Wimmera

Wimmera groups and networks completed another successful series of large-scale community planting events over the colder months. Congratulations to the groups and other volunteers involved in these events. 

Local Landcarers will be involved hosting the Victorian Tidy Towns Awards in Horsham on 14-15 October 2016. The event will showcase a number of Landcare achievements including the work of the Horsham Urban Landcare Group. Last year Horsham won the Environmental Education category in the awards.

The relationship between the Landcare community and the Barengi Gadjin Land Council continues to strengthen, with several school programs underway this year. Aboriginal culture and biodiversity was also the theme of the Wimmera Biodiversity Seminar held on 1 September.

For further information contact Joel Boyd on 5382 1544.

Mallee

Landcare groups across the Mallee are still active and enthusiastic after almost 30 years of projects. In the last two years alone Mallee Landcare groups have obtained approximately $2 million in grants for works.

Pest plants and animals are still the main priority, but tackling the problems of land and water degradation with a focus on community wellbeing and agricultural sustainability is the core work of our groups. 

Landcare has become a beacon for best practice land management in the Mallee. Congratulations to everyone who has been involved over the years. We now have a strong foundation for those leading the way into the next decade and beyond.

For further information contact Kevin Chaplin on 5051 4344.

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