Above Minister D’Ambrosio
It was a great honour for me to attend the 2019 Victorian Landcare Awards ceremony at Government House on 30 August and to meet many of our outstanding Landcarers from across the state.
The awards were hosted by the Governor, Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, and were an opportunity to celebrate the valuable contributions of individuals, Landcare and community groups, schools and organisations – all working to protect and enhance the natural environment, deliver sustainable farming practices, or improve natural resource management.
Groups and individuals were recognised at the awards for projects that included revegetation, nest box installation, weed control, soil improvement and stabilisation works, fox and rabbit control, improving biodiversity corridors, events and education.
Environmental volunteers are some of the most inspiring and important people in our communities. This year we introduced a new award for an environmental volunteer group or individual working on public or private land who has made an outstanding contribution to protect, enhance or restore Victoria’s environment through fostering increased participation and awareness.
The Environmental Volunteer Award was won by the Jallukar Landcare Group for its native grasslands project, which has seen a small community in the Wimmera band together to save areas of native grassland by growing indigenous seed in the group’s nursery and planting the grasses out across the landscape. There is a deep commitment to the value of local flora and fauna within the group, which is dynamic, social and increasing in membership.
You will get a sense of the dedication, resilience, commitment and creativity of all of the award winners as you read the stories in this issue of the magazine.
Over the past four years, the Victorian Government has provided more than $149 million to protect Victoria’s biodiversity, supporting native and threatened species through a range of on-ground initiatives and funding.
The funding focuses on protecting and managing a range of native plants and animals, threatened species and habitats through collaborative planning, increased engagement and alignment of natural resources, scientific, educational and community sectors.
Landcare contributes to the vision and goals outlined within Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037; the Victorian Government’s 20-year strategy to stop the decline of our native plants and animals and ensure the environment is healthy, valued and cared for.
Congratulations to all award nominees. The winners of the nine national award categories will now go on to represent Victoria at the 2020 National Landcare Awards Conference and I wish them well.
Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change
Minister for Solar Homes