IN HIS SPEECH, THE STATEMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT, WENTWORTH, NSW 20 JULY 1989., PRIME MINISTER HAWKE DECLARED:
“Accordingly, we are declaring next year the Year of Landcare – it will be the first year in a Decade of Landcare that will provide as never before a focus for protecting the most fundamental ingredient both of our natural environment and of our agricultural prosperity – our soil.”
Unsurprisingly, the Landcare movement developed nationally in 1989 as a result of farmers and environmentalists uniting to care for our land and water. Farmers realised it made good business sense, and environmentalists realised they needed to work constructively with farmers, as managers of over half of Australia’s land mass.
Landcare Australia is a not-for-profit organisation, and registered charity, which leads the promotion of and provision of financial support to the Landcare movement’s national resource management programme in Australia; aligning the practice of environmental management with land productivity, and devolving governance and management to local communities.
For more than 25 years, Landcare Australia has supported the Landcare movement’s role of protecting, restoring and sustaining the productivity and value of Australia’s natural environment.
The Landcare movement is made up of more than 5,400 local groups across the nation. The groups that fall under the Landcare umbrella are varied in nature, including Coastcare, as well as productive farming groups, ‘Friends of’, Bushcare, Rivercare, Dunecare and indigenous ranger groups.
Each of these groups actively cares for Australia’s invaluable land and water assets; utilising assistance from interested volunteers to safeguard, rebuild, regenerate, and sustainably manage the natural environment.
Landcare Australia works collaboratively with federal, state and local governments, corporate partners and sponsors, and individuals, to deliver hundreds of projects annually through the volunteer efforts of local community groups, indigenous groups, and the more than 5,400 Landcare and Coastcare groups across Australia.
Improving our farmlands for sustainable productivity
As Australia’s land managers, owners of approximately 53 per cent of Australian land, primary producers – farmers – produce 93 per cent of the food we eat, and feed some 40 million people outside Australia every day.
More than 93 per cent of farmers are active practitioners of Landcare, each making significant contributions to the sustainability and productivity of our land and water assets. They actively work to combat soil salinity and erosion through sound land management practices and sustainable agriculture practices.