24 March 2010
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke commended the Landcare community’s hard work and commitment in protecting and restoring Australia’s environment and improving the landscape for farmers.
Opening the 2010 National Landcare Forum in Adelaide yesterday, Mr Burke said all those volunteers involved in Landcare over the last two decades should be proud of their efforts and enthusiastic for the next phase.
“It’s time to see Landcare as more than thousands of volunteers across the country. It’s now time to view Landcare as a movement for landscape change,” Mr Burke said.
“For 20 years, Landcare groups right across Australia have been intrinsic in delivering outcomes for local communities and farmers.
“However, moving forward if we see Landcare as just a system of organisations we are selling ourselves terribly short.
“We must now focus on the outcomes of land care and how this can better prepare communities and Australian farmers for future droughts, a changing climate and the issue of food security.
“I welcome this opportunity for the Landcare community to celebrate its success and explore how it can continue to play a vital role in land management in the years ahead.
“As we prepare for the challenges of the next 20 years, the Rudd government is committed to supporting Landcare now and into the future.”
The Australian Government’s ongoing support for Landcare includes:
- providing $181 million over five years through the $2 billion Caring for our Country initiative for Landcare and sustainable farming projects
- committing $33.6 million over four years to support the work of up 56 Landcare facilitators across Australia
- appointing Kim Chance as the Chairman of the reactivated Landcare Council to work with community, farmers, Indigenous land managers and urban groups to facilitate sustainable natural resource management solutions
- appointing Brett de Hayr as National Landcare Facilitator to provide an essential link between Landcare groups and the Government
- reinstating the Australian Landcare Council to work in partnership with Landcare volunteers to support the development of the National Landcare Framework.
The 2010 National Landcare Forum brings together Landcare and community groups, regional bodies and industry and government representatives from across Australia to discuss the issues facing Landcare and to learn about new ways of dealing with challenges such as climate change, food security and the protection of our natural environment.For further information, see www.nationallandcareforum.com.au or www.nrm.gov.au.