Landcare is a community-based approach that has played a major role in raising awareness, influencing farming and land management practices and delivering environmental outcomes across Australian landscapes.

Caring for the land captures a range of activities such as soil conservation, management of erosion and salinity, sustainable farm practices, restoration of native habitats, revegetation, control of weeds and pests and the development of local natural resource management skills and knowledge.

While a key element of Landcare is the voluntary network of more than 6,000 groups across Australia, there are many farmers and landholders that undertake this important work but are not affiliated with any particular Landcare group.

We all have a role in looking after ‘our patch’ to ensure the land and water we use for agriculture and our natural environment is healthy and sustainable.

The Landcare approach in Australia

The Australian Government recognises the important role Landcare and collective community action plays in managing Australia’s environment and natural resources sustainably.

The Australian Framework for Landcare identifies that the Landcare approach comprises:

  • a philosophy, influencing the way people live in the landscape while caring for the land
  • local community action putting the philosophy into practice
  • a range of knowledge generation, sharing and support mechanisms including groups, networks (from district to national levels), facilitators and coordinators, government and non-government programs and partnerships.

In 1989 the former Prime Minister Bob Hawke announced the government’s support for Landcare with the establishment of the Decade of Landcare and the National Landcare Program. Investment has continued through the Australian Government’s current NRM program, Caring for our Country, with over $180 million being invested in Landcare over five years (2008 to 2013).

Landcare funding provides support through investment at the national, regional and local level. This funding gives farmers, landholders and community groups the ability to undertake on-ground action, which contributes to sustainable agricultural and environmental outcomes.