Above: More than 100 people celebrate 30 Years of Landcare in the middle of the covenanted Tootgarook Swamp at Boneo Park Equestrian Centre at an event run by the Port Phillip and Westernport CMA.
The region has been buzzing with 30 Years of Landcare celebrations. The CMA hosted a bus tour and dinner event in St Arnaud last October. More than 65 people travelled through Winjallok passing ‘Stricta Hill’ where Landcare was launched by Joan Kirner in 1986 and enjoying the commentary from local Landcare Facilitator Kevin Spence and Winjallok Landcare Group President, Rhonda Fernandes.
Kevin and Rhonda pointed out the innovative direct seeding work undertaken in the past that has resulted in well-functioning shelterbelts as well
as the extensive group efforts on erosion control, rabbit management and salinity plantings.
Dinner was a chance to celebrate and catch up with old and new Landcare friends. Rob Youl gave a rundown on times past and his predictions on the future of Landcare. Rob was followed by the 2015 Young Farmer of the Year, Grant Sim. Grant showcased his passion for soil, worms and new systems on his farm. It was a great celebration of Landcare in the region.For further information contact Tess Grieves on 5440 1890.
Wimmera groups and networks had a busy end to 2016 with water returning to many waterways and wetlands after a prolonged dry period, and some flooding across the region.
Urban Landcare activity continues to grow with Local Landcare Facilitator Wendy McInnes providing key support for the establishment of The Patch Project. Based at the Horsham Salvation Army headquarters, this project involves volunteer groups, Horsham Rural City Council, Wimmera CMA and Western District Employment Access.
A partnership-based event with author Bruce Pascoe will be held on Harmony Day, 21 March 2017. The event will pick up on Aboriginal culture and biodiversity themes from last year’s Wimmera Biodiversity Seminar and continue to strengthen relationships between Landcare and the Barengi Gadjin Land Council.For further information contact Joel Boyd on 5382 1544.
Landcare groups in the Mallee have enthusiastically taken advantage of the good season. A number of groups have established linkage corridors and are working to enhance native vegetation on both private and public land. These projects will continue in 2017.
The Birchip Landcare Group has been very active and is planning a revegetation corridor of 3.5 hectares to be planted in autumn.
2016 was also an excellent year for the Mallee fowl. These hard-working, ground-dwelling birds were very busy with reports of active Mallee fowl mounds right across the region. Landcare groups are highlighting the importance of this species to their local communities and working on projects including linkage corridors and fox control to help support the Mallee fowl population.For further information contact Kevin Chaplin on 5051 4344.
The region’s five Landcare networks banded together recently to host an expression of interest campaign to identify projects. Landholders, Landcarers and groups submitted nearly 200 projects on both public and private land across the catchment. Projects ranged from caring for riparian areas on public reserves, to sustainable agriculture such as soil and effluent management, and remnant and threatened species protection.
The campaign was promoted via social media, in local newspapers, through a mail-out to Landcare group members and with posters placed around local communities. A highlight was the campaign’s animation that explained how to express interest in simple language.
Since the combined Landcare network expression of interest campaign has closed the networks have been busy contacting landholders, undertaking site visits and supporting groups to seek appropriate funding for their projects.
The regional expression of interest program is ongoing. Go to the CMA website or visit your local Landcare network to apply.For further information contact Kathleen Brack on 5613 5966.
Landcare groups and the broader community were involved in a range of community consultations led by the CMA last November to understand the natural resource management investment priorities across the catchment. The information collected will inform future natural resource management investment plans for the region and the mid-term review of the Regional Catchment Strategy.
Landcare groups have also been consulted through online surveys and individual and group consultations to assist in the review of the North East Landcare Support Plan.
Landcare groups and the CMA have been working with partners to support farmer health and wellbeing. Kiewa Catchment Landcare Groups worked with organisations in Mt Beauty to provide and deliver pamper packs to dairy farmers, while Look over the Farm Gate events provided opportunities to get help and advice.For further information contact Tom Croft on (02) 6043 7648.
Corangamite CMA, in partnership with Federation University, has been working with Landcare networks across the region to develop a natural resource management planning portal. The portal is an online mapping tool for matching local and regional priorities for catchment management planning.
The portal aims to provide Landcare networks, community groups and stakeholders with the capability to identify joint priorities to develop and progress as partnerships. The portal project provides access to spatial data, information and knowledge to assist stakeholders in setting their local priorities.
Congratulations to the Corangamite Landcare volunteers recognised at the 30 Years of Landcare celebrations held in November. Also in November, the annual Wise Waterways Workshop provided training to professionals and volunteers interested in learning how to manage waterways.
Check the Victorian Landcare Gateway www.landcarevic.org.au for local events in early 2017.For further information contact Tracey McRae on 5232 9100.
The very wet winter and spring experienced in the region created difficulties for many revegetation projects that were underway. In some cases tractors could not be used which meant no fencing and no planting and in other cases plantings were washed away before they could establish. Plantings that did survive got a strong start with good soil moisture.
The CMA has collated evidence of flood damage and will apply for funds to assist flood recovery. The CMA’s drought employment crews have been kept busy assisting landholders to clean debris from fence lines in the aftermath of the floods.
The Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Network has been working with the CMA to remove willows and revegetate a site along the Merri River in Warrnambool. Multiple field days run by local community groups were conducted in November, interpretive signs are to be installed and a site maintenance day conducted by the network at Platypus Park was also a great success.For further information contact Tony Lithgow on 5571 2526.
More than 500 people from across the region attended six events to celebrate 30 Years of Landcare last November. Events were held at the top secret Holden Proving Ground in Lang Lang, the covenanted 200-hectares of Tootgarook Swamp at Boneo Park Equestrian Centre and the culturally significant Mt William stone axe quarry near Lancefield.
Guest speakers at the events included Professor David Lindenmayer from the Australian National University, James Fitzsimons from The Nature Conservancy, Jacqui Young from the Mt Rothwell Conservation and Research Centre, and Boon Wurrung Elder, Aunty Carolyn Briggs.
More than 90 people were treated to a flight display of birds of prey from the Leigh Valley Hawk and Owl Sanctuary. The events were a great opportunity to network and celebrate achievements.For further information contact Doug Evans on 8781 7920.
More than 90 representatives from local Landcare groups came together to celebrate the achievements of 30 Years of Landcare and also to look at future challenges and opportunities last November. Peter Kenyon from the Bank of Ideas was the guest speaker. Peter reinforced the need for strong local leadership and opportunities to diversify the income sources for Landcare.
2016 was a wet year and a good growing season for weeds. Weeds such as Paterson’s Curse were rampant from October to December 2016. Many conversations are now underway between production landholders and neighbouring lifestyle landholders about the need for weed control.
Landcare groups are preparing for the release of a new strain of rabbit calici virus and hoping it will complement their existing efforts to control rabbit numbers in the region.For further information contact Tony Kubeil on 5761 1619.
Landcarers from across the region gathered at Lakes Entrance last September for a dinner to celebrate 30 Years of Landcare.Winners of the Short Video Competition, hosted jointly by the East Gippsland Landcare Network, Far East Victoria Landcare Inc. and the Snowy Interstate Landcare Committee, were also announced at the dinner.
The prizes were awarded by Fiona Eagger, celebrated television and film producer. The Landcare Legends category was won by Cath Woods from the Raymond Island Landcare Group. The Group Gossip category was won by Louise Avery from Nungurner Landcare Group. Jo Trevaskis from Wairewa Landcare Group won the Farming Flair Category.
The Innovation category was won by Dawn Parker from Far East Victoria Landcare. The Primary Schools category was won by Lindenow Primary School and the Secondary Schools category by Nagle College. The short videos are on the CMA’s YouTube channel.
Guests at the Landcare dinner watched a film about 30 Years of Landcare in the region, produced with the support of Craig Bush and Jan Lucas. The film featured excerpts from a film produced in 2006 - see below. The event was a successful celebration of Landcare and there was much confidence for the future.For further information contact Amanda Bartkowski on 5150 3851.