Victorian Landcare Magazine - Spring 2018, Issue 73

From the Minister - Issue 73

Minister DAmbrosio Photo for Gateway9

September is biodiversity month, and this year we’re marking the occasion by providing $34.77 million for 89 new projects that will go a long way to improving biodiversity and helping us deliver our ambitious environmental agenda – to ensure Victoria’s environment is healthy, valued and actively cared for over the years to come.

Eighty-five of the new projects are for on-ground biodiversity action and are being provided with $33.67 million of funding. A further $1.1 million is being provided to four new projects for Marine Environment Targeted Actions.

These projects are part of the Government’s $86.3 million investment to implement Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037, over four years; the most significant investment in protecting our biodiversity ever provided by a Victorian Government.

Talking about investing in our future, I’d like to congratulate the next generation of our environmental volunteers who were recently awarded a 2018 Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grant. More than $400,000 was made available to 109 successful grant recipients, which included schools, kindergartens, childcare centres, Scouts, Guides, and youth groups. The grants funding supports educational and on-ground projects that restore, protect or enhance habitat for native plants and animals.

And best wishes to the State finalists from Victoria who are representing our state at the 2018 National Landcare Awards, which will be announced on 11 October at the awards ceremony in Brisbane.  

Now it’s the time to sow and a time for plants to grow, so it’s important that our soils are healthy. This issue of the magazine is packed with information on the latest in soil research and soil management.

"This issue of the magazine is packed with information on the latest in soil research and soil management."

Our story on Geoff and Helen Henderson’s Hanslow Cup win for the Otway district covers more than 50 years of soil conservation history. Geoff and Helen were awarded the cup in 1968 for extensive erosion control work on their farm at St Leonards. Geoff, now 90 and retired to Queenscliff, shares his memories of the win and the ingenious and backbreaking work he did to halt runoff and erosion and make the family farm productive.

The story from Cundare Duverney Landcare Group outlines the results of their trial treatments to assist decomposition of stubble into the soil, rather than burning stubble in cropping areas. This issue also features a story on whether chicken manure can benefit soils that are hard setting and prone to water logging.

Peter Ronalds from the Western Port Catchment Landcare Network shares the latest news from the multi-storey farming project. This innovative project was the brainchild of Clinton Tepper, a forester and farmer from Warragul. Clinton proposed a three-tier design of crops on the ground, stock grazing at mid-level and surrounding trees providing an upper storey. A trial site to evaluate the idea is attracting a lot of interest.

I also recommend to readers the thoughtful article by retired soil conservationist, David Cummings. David asks some pertinent questions about how we define healthy soil and encourages us to look to the past for wisdom, as well as the future.

Enjoy the season and keep a look out for biodiversity-related events that may be happening in your local area.

Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change
Minister for Suburban Development