Friends of Westgate Park received $8,600 in funding from Holden through its partnership with Landcare Australia to transform several hectares of weed infested land in the iconic Melbourne park. The group has been working to transform the park into a bushland setting for Indigenous plants and animals for over 20 years, and last year the Holden funding helped with weed eradication, mulch spreading, and revegetation. The work was undertaken solely by volunteers who contributed over 700 hours, and included many teams from Holden as part of their employee volunteering program, school groups, tertiary students and volunteers from Landcare Australia’s corporate volunteering program.
The Jaramas Foundation supports on-ground projects in New South Wales which repair degraded agricultural land or focus on the uptake of sustainable agriculture techniques to reduce environmental degradation. Last year, the Riverina Highlands Landcare Network was awarded $20,000 in funding to assist its work restoring the Tarrabandra Hills area. In partnership with Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authority and 12 local landholders, the Network is working to create a series of native habitat links and connect remnant vegetation through new plantings. The replanted native vegetation also plays an important role in the prevention of soil erosion, cycling of nutrients and livestock shelterbelts. FY2016 saw eight landholders working together to connect areas of remnant vegetation across the cleared landscape and installed significant amounts of fencing to ensure the survival and health of the new plantings.
West Australian based not-for-profit organisation, The Gillamii Centre, is driven by a volunteer committee of nine farmers representing the best interests of the community in sustainable agriculture in practice. The organisation received $30,000 in funding last year from Mount Barker Chicken through its partnership with Landcare Australia as part of a three-year project focusing on soil health in broad acre cropping systems. The project has begun measuring key physical, biological and chemical soil health indicators to build understanding of soil health trends over time within and between different cropping systems. Early results show potential implications regarding the application of phosphorus and nitrogen, and further trial work is needed to better understand relationships between nutrient management, yield and soil health. As the projects continues, the Gillamii Centre will continue analysing results related to the different cropping systems and sharing the results through field days and media stories.
St Agnes Catholic Primary School in Brisbane received $980 in funding for an innovative gardening and sustainability project called ‘Grow to Live – Live to Grow’. The ambitious project involved the construction of two worms farms, five organic vegetable gardens and a vertical vegetable garden. 240 students looked after the worms over the school holidays, and during term time they cultivated, mulched and planted garden beds. They also used old milk containers to make the vertical garden. The Yates Junior Landcare grant allowed the children involved to interactively learn about the importance of environmental stewardship, waste management, recycling and organic gardening. There was a notable improved environmental attitude amongst the children who took part, cultivating a love for learning how insects and worms fit into the garden ecosystem. As one of the students commented, “Ooh these worms are icky, but I really love them very much.”
From Farm to Fork was launched during Landcare Week 2015 to support Australian farmers and sustainable agriculture. Over 2,000 people attended when we converted Sydney’s Wynyard Park into a farm. Over 150 participants raised over $15,000 by either hosting a dinner or a challenge to support our farmers.
We also launched the FF2F community program to encourage markets, schools and individuals to raise funds for our Aussie farmers. In addition, we launched our Trek for Aussie Farmers, with the goal of 17 trekkers raising $30,000 and travelling from Launceston to Hobart to visit and support our Aussie farmers in early 2017. From Farm to Fork now has over 10,000 followers on Facebook
This initiative was launched on World Environment Day 2015 when we asked schools and corporates to take positive action in protecting the land. We have had over 50 schools and organisations participating, from wearing green at school, to sausage sizzles and tree planting. Over $5,000 was raised to support Landcare community groups.
From Tasmania’s Bellerive Bluff to McMinns Lagoon in the Northern Territory, Telstra team volunteers have cleared, dug, seeded and watered a vast diversity of this nation’s landscapes.
Since forging a partnership with Landcare Australia four years ago, more than 3,000 Telstra employees have spent a day volunteering with Landcare communities, with 60 events undertaken over the past year alone.
This makes Telstra Landcare Australia’s largest corporate volunteering partner with more than 22,000 hours donated to vital environmental projects.
However, the numbers only tell a small part of this evolving story.
Telstra team members have connected with their surrounding landscapes and with each other through their volunteering experiences – which is why the program has been the most popular of all corporate volunteering opportunities at Telstra.
Teams of volunteers have helped with the cutting of plants and weeding of tubestock in Melbourne’s St Kilda Indigenous Nursery Co-op, debris collection and analysis at South Australia’s Henley Beach with the Marine Discovery Centre, and erosion control and revegetation works with Queensland’s Oxley Creek Catchment Association.
321 entries were submitted across eight states for the 2015 State and Territory Awards, with 69 winners going through as finalists to the 2016 National Landcare Awards. Landcare Australia undertook a national promotional campaign for the Awards and provided support and collateral to eight State and Territory Awards Coordinators who ran successful events in their own regions. This year saw the entry process move online for the first time, which proved a successful undertaking with a slight increase in the number of entries from the previous campaign. The events which took place between August and November attracted over 1,500 people including Federal and State Government representatives, corporate sponsor representatives and Landcare community members.
Four editions of Landcare in Focus magazine were published this year, as well as a special technical supplement which focused on Building Drought Resistance. These five publications were distributed by Fairfax Community Media in their state-based weekly agricultural newspapers to a readership of over 250,000. Coverage in the magazine across the year included a special State and Territory Landcare Awards edition, commentary from Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce, and a tribute to Landcare pioneer, Joan Kirner, as well as a host of Landcare project case studies. A readership survey undertaken in the second half of the year revealed 95% of respondents believed the publication to be a reliable source of information with ideas that help their Landcare activities. There was also a marked increase in the number of readers that had followed up on articles with a 20% increase to 80%, indicating the inclusion of content valued by the audience.
Landcare Australia and ManpowerGroup continued as a joint service provider in the Green Army Programme and secured 107 projects in Round 4 of the programme.
74 projects were completed during FY16, and included:
The projects completed are guided by local community needs and include natural resource management activities such as habitat creation, control of invasive species, cultural improvement works, Indigenous land management, and educational activities. They also contribute to meeting Australia’s national environmental priorities.
Working with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council
Landcare Australia and ManpowerGroup have been working with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council on the Green Army Programme since its inception. Eight projects were secured by the Council in Round 4 of the programme with one of those commencing last year. During the year, the Green Army teams work closely with Council and local communities to help them achieve their goals, across foreshore and inland areas at Mount Eliza, Mornington, Mount Martha and Point Nepean, all located south east of Melbourne. Key activities to protect and enhance natural and heritage values at these sites included mapping of important flora and fauna, protection of middens from erosion, control of invasive weeds, and native plantings. The teams also had the opportunity to work alongside a multitude of local volunteer groups, building relationships and learning skills from experienced bush regenerators.
The delivery of three large-scale projects by Landcare Australia under the 20 million trees programme commenced last year, and yielded impressive results in the first stage. The Dakalanta Sanctuary Revegetation Project is a hugely ambitious project covering over 1,190 hectares on the Eyre Peninsula and is being undertaken in partnership with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. Another South Australian project is taking place on Banrock Station in partnership with Accolade Wines. Last year’s outcomes included the collection of 100kg of locally sourced seed and 200km of direct seeding on the project site which is located on the Murray River and is a Ramsar Convention listed wetland of international importance. A third project, in Victoria’s Wimmera Region, is taking place in partnership with Bank Australia on one of the properties that makes up their Conservation Reserve - 30kg of local seed was collected from this region last year, 120km of direct seeding was completed using 25 local indigenous species, and 16,000 tubestock planted.
Dakalanta Revegetation Project
Though stage one delivery targets for this project were ambitious given its scale, Landcare Australia achieved these targets, working in partnership with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Trees for Life South Australia, Eyre Native Seeds, Ceduna Aboriginal Corporation and Greening Australia. Pest control was completed prior to commencing on-ground works and subsequently 800kg of locally collected seeds was processed, tested for germination viability and delivered to the site, with seed viability testing completed. Given the calcareous nature of the soils, it was necessary to commission the construction of a custom built direct seed machine, as well as modify four additional machines. As a result, 1,600km (800ha) of direct seeding was completed during the year and 1600km of herbicide and insecticide applied over seeding lines. Elliston primary School and landholders adjacent to Dakalanta Sanctuary were also engaged to plant 2,100 tubestock She oaks to support local revegetation efforts and provide educational opportunities outlining the importance of local habitat.
The projects funded include:
In the effort to control parkinsonia - a weed of national significance - along the De Grey River in Western Australia, new technologies using native Australian fungi are being trialled. The fungus is injected into the parkinsonia plant, killing it and neighbouring plants without affecting the environment and surrounding pasture land for cattle.
Brolgas are large grey cranes with a featherless red head and grey crown. They are classified as vulnerable in New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria, heavily impacted by agriculture, weeds and predators. With over 40 brolgas gathering at Pink Lake every year for mating, the Lismore Land Protection Group has developed a project plan to; fence the lakes, eradicate rabbits and control foxes using baiting, and control and remove weeds from the harbour to help protect the future of brolgas.