Operating environment in 2012 for Landcare and related community-based groups in each of the states and territories across Australia

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For the purposes of this document, ‘community–based groups’ refers to Landcare and related groups founded on volunteerism and stewardship. These include farmers and pastoralists, Indigenous communities and citizens involved in conservation projects on public and private land.

Australian Government support structures

The Australian Government’s Caring for our Country initiative supports national, regional and local Landcare activities with funding allocated for projects to improve land management, skills and knowledge and to support engagement initiatives including 56 regional Landcare facilitators, large–scale partnership funding and community grants programs, the Australian Landcare Council, the National Landcare Facilitator and Landcare Australia Limited.

The Australian Landcare Council (ALC) is a key national advisory body to the Australian Government on Landcare and NRM matters.

The National Landcare Facilitator (NLF) advocates the Landcare ethos and supports community Landcare through an advisory role focusing on sustainable production in the primary industry sector, together with the engagement and participation of community groups in natural resource management.

Landcare Australia Ltd (LAL) is a private non–profit company. Its objectives are to raise corporate sponsorship for the Landcare and coastcare movements and heighten community awareness of the programs and brands.

The Australian Government has provided funding for a fulltime equivalent Regional Landcare Facilitator in each of the 56 natural resource management regions across Australia. This equates to 80 facilitators working across these regions on the ground who are employed by regional NRM bodies, Landcare networks or industry organisations. They have a supporting role in working with community–based groups to develop skills, share knowledge and to provide extension support and information about natural resource management and how the Carbon Farming initiative will work.(Website: www.nrm.gov.au/contacts/landcare.html)

Community–based groups can seek Caring for our Country funding through a number of avenues including Community Action Grants that are directly available to deliver sustainable natural resource management outcomes.

National overview of the operating environment across states and territories

Community–based groups

Over 5 000 community–based groups operate across Australia. However, given that a number of production and conservation groups in some states are not included in this figure, the number is possibly closer to 6 000. It is estimated that more than half of these groups work on private land. It is also estimated that more than 160 000 people are members of these groups and another 100 000  plus people are directly influenced by group activities.

In Western Australia and South Australia, community–based groups that are focused on sustainable primary production usually go by titles other than ‘Landcare’, although they have similar objectives. These groups include the Mingenew–Irwin Group in Western Australia and the Yorke Peninsula Alkaline Soils Group in South Australia. In all other states and territories, sustainable production groups use a range of titles, including ‘Landcare’.

Landcare networks and associations at regional, state and national levels

Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory have a number of Landcare network structures that operate as networks or umbrella groups supporting clusters of community–based groups in sub regions or catchments/sub catchments. This is generally not the case in the other states and the Northern Territory.

There are state/territory Landcare associations in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. Each association has a different mode of operation. The Landcare Association of South Australia (LASA) has not been operational for a number of years, although moves have been made to reconvene this or a similar body. Western Australia does not have a state Landcare organisation and the Northern Territory Landcare Council no longer exists.

In February 2009, representatives of state/territory Landcare organisations and other individuals, where state or territory organisations do not exist, met in Melbourne and formed the National Landcare Network (NLN). The stated role of the NLN is to collaborate, support, advocate for and add value to Landcare and other community volunteer natural resource management (NRM) groups. The NLN meets quarterly.

State/territory government

Before the second phase of the National Heritage Trust (NHT2)1, federal and state Landcare programs were delivered and supported through environmental or agricultural departments in the states and territories. Since the Australian Government regionalised NRM delivery in 2002, generally all states reduced the level of resources provided to community–based groups, although Victoria continues with a larger budget. Support mechanisms vary across jurisdictions although more recently, Victoria and New South Wales announced increased support to community–based groups.

Natural resource management regions

There are 56 NRM regions across Australia organised around catchments or bioregions. Regional NRM bodies generally use integrated NRM plans to guide NRM funding within their regions. The extent to which the regional organisations involve community–based groups in their funding bids for regional projects or support group operations through the provision of support staff and in–kind contributions, varies across all regional and state and territory jurisdictions. Chairs of regional organisations of each state meet on a regular basis. The National NRM Regions Working Group is made up of a chair representative from each state and territory; view list.

Local government

Local government can support the Landcare approach by providing in–kind support such as office space and administration, although the level of support varies across the country according to needs and opportunity. View Australian Local Government Association website.

Non–government organisations

Non–government organisations (NGOs) such as Greening Australia and Conservation Volunteers Australia operate in all states and territories (although they are not listed below) and offer a range of support services to community–based groups.

Insurance

Volunteer group insurance arrangements vary across states and territories. Costs may be covered by state or territory departments or groups may independently organise their own insurance through brokers such as Austcover, the provider promoted by LAL.

Victoria

Community–based groups

There are over 1200 community–based natural resource management (CBNRM) groups in Victoria. More than 750 of these groups have ‘Landcare’ in their title while others include farming system, Indigenous, ‘Friends of’ and catchment.

In many regions, Landcare networks provide umbrella support to varying numbers of Landcare group clusters. The 62 Landcare Networks in Victoria generally provide a more strategic focus to planning and activities than is possible at group level.

Sustainable Production Groups

Sustainable production groups operating across Victoria, particularly in the grains, dairy and lamb sectors, include the following:

  • The Victorian Grower Group Alliance is a network of the seven major grower groups with a mixed farming focus. These community–driven groups range in size from those with part–time staff to those with a large teams operating across multiple NRM regions. They undertake research at a systems and farm level.
  • Dairy Australia supports three regional dairy programs in Victoria, applying the latest research at a farm level with producer cooperation.
  • The sheep meat and wool sector operates across the state. Over 40 groups meet and test research and development at a paddock and farm level under the BESTWOOL/BESTLAMB program.

State government

The Victorian Landcare Program, administered by the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), provides funding, information, policy and support to the Victorian Landcare Community. This includes contributions to the Victorian Landcare Gateway and the production of the “Victorian Landcare & Catchment Management Magazine”.

DSE distributes funding for the Victorian Landcare Grants program (previously known as Second Generation Landcare Grants) for groups and networks. Its objective is to enable community based environmental groups to undertake effective on–ground works that increase ecosystem resilience and contribute to sustainable landscapes. The grants are allocated competitively through the Victorian Investment Framework and managed by the relevant Catchment Management Authority (CMA).

Additional funding is directed towards the ten Regional Landcare Coordinators hosted by the CMAs. For four years from 2011/12, the State Government has also allocated $12 million to provide salary support for 60 Local Landcare Facilitator positions – a response to the loss of facilitator positions following the withdrawal of NHT2 funding.

The Victorian Catchment Management Council advises the state government on matters relating to NRM and catchment management across Victoria.

State Landcare organisations

There are three peak Landcare bodies in Victoria although discussions have been held recently about how these organisations might work together and potentially merge some or all of their operations.

The Farm Tree & Landcare Association (FTLA), established in 1986, provides a support service to volunteer groups. Its membership consists of 547 Landcare–type groups, mostly from Victoria, and its board consists of members. It acts as an umbrella body for the purposes of incorporation and the primary member benefit is an insurance package and information services.

The Victorian Landcare Council (VLC), whose membership consists of Landcare representatives from each CMA, was established late in 2008 to represent community Landcare across Victoria.

The Victorian Landcare Network (VLN), established in approximately 1998–99, is an incorporated association for Victorian Landcare professional support staff working with volunteer community groups. The network also supports state Landcare forums.

Landcare Australia Ltd

The Landcare Australia Ltd office is located in Melbourne and services Victoria.

NRM regions

There are ten NRM regions across Victoria managed by CMAs: North East, Port Phillip and Western Port, East Gippsland, Wimmera, Corangamite, Mallee, Glenelg Hopkins, North Central, Goulburn Broken, and West Gippsland.

The CMAs generally involve Landcare and other CBNRM groups in their funding bids for regional projects, although the level of involvement can vary from region to region. Some CMAs support community–based group operations by providing support staff and in–kind contributions. Seven of the ten Victorian CMAs also currently host the Australian Government funded Regional Landcare Facilitators. The remaining three positions are hosted by Project Platypus (Wimmera), Ovens Landcare Network (North East) and Far East Victoria Landcare (East Gippsland).

Local government

Local governments generally assist community–based groups in several areas by providing in–kind support such as office space and administration, although the level of support can vary widely across the state.

Insurance

The FTLA provides insurance to 547 member Landcare groups. It is assumed that other community–based groups independently access insurance through brokers such as Austcover, the provider promoted by LAL.

Tasmania

Community–based groups

There are approximately 300 farming, urban, Indigenous and coastal Landcare community–based groups in Tasmania. Primary producer groups not using ‘Landcare’ in their titles are included in the list below if they are implementing the Australian Government Caring for our Country/Landcare projects.

Sustainable Production groups

There are a number of sustainable production groups operating across Tasmania, particularly in the grains, dairy and lamb sectors:

  • Southern Farming Systems operates collaboratively with local branches to test and validate sustainable practices at a farm level.
  • Dairy Australia supports one regional dairy program, applying the latest research at a farm level with community cooperation.
  • The sheep meat and wool sector operates across the state, with seven groups meeting and testing research and development (R&D) at a paddock and farm level under the Sheep Connect program.

Landcare network structures at the catchment or regional level have not been set up in Tasmania.

State government

A large amount of support and resources provided to community–based groups such as Landcare by the state government was removed when NHT2 came into operation. The state government provided a three–year grant for the operations of the Tasmanian Landcare Association (TLCA) through the Living Environment Program. The grant finished in 2008 however the TLCA was recently reinstated with a further four years of funding to 2014–15. The state government also annually funds the Landcare Assistance Program (LAP), administered by TLCA. The TLCA devolves this funding to groups for administration and operating costs. Groups can apply for $400 if they pay for their own insurance or $250 if they do not. The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment has supported the State Landcare Awards in the past, but more recently the TLCA has delivered the awards for LAL and the state government in conjunction with the TLCA’s biennial State Landcare Conference.

The Tasmanian Natural Resource Management Council advises the minister on NRM issues.

State Landcare organisation

The TLCA’s membership consists of Landcarers and it is governed by these members. The TLCA’s aims are to represent, strengthen, support and grow Tasmania’s community Landcare movement. It also supports state Landcare conferences. Funding for core costs was not available for over two years before being reinstated in 2011 and the TLCA operated on reserves during that period. The TLCA’s strategic plan outlines its financial aspirations and direction.

Landcare Australia Ltd

The Melbourne office of Landcare Australia Ltd offers services to Tasmania, including the National Landcare Directory.

NRM regions

There are three NRM regions in Tasmania managed by NRM regional committees: NRM North, NRM South and Cradle Coast. NRM North and NRM South fund facilitators, which are based in local council offices. Cradle Coast NRM also funds facilitators that operate out of the central office. The three NRM regions also host the Australian Government funded Regional Landcare Facilitators.

The NRM regional committees generally involve community–based groups in various ways in their funding bids for regional projects, although the level of involvement can vary from region to region. Some committees support group operations by providing support staff and in–kind contributions.

Local government

Local government generally can support community–based groups in several areas by providing in–kind support such as office space, insurance cover and administration, although the level of support varies across the state.

Insurance

The TLCA provides a bulk insurance program to member groups to streamline administration and secure cheaper rates. Two local councils currently pay for Landcare group insurance and the LAP provides funding to other groups. The Landcare insurance package developed by LAL may also be independently accessed through Auscover.

New South Wales

Community–based groups

In New South Wales there are approximately 2,130 farming, urban, Indigenous and coastal Landcare community–based groups, with 57,454 members. Of these, approximately 1,025 groups work on private land.

Sustainable Production groups

There are a number of sustainable production groups operating across New South Wales:

  • Numerous grower groups operate collaboratively in the grains and mixed farm sector to trial and validate sustainable practices at a farm scale. These include the Conservation Agriculture and No–till Farming Association (CANFA), SoilCare and Dairy NSE NRM Committee.
  • Dairy Australia supports one regional dairy program, applying the latest research at a farm level with community cooperation.
  • A network of 31 groups across South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia supports arid zone rangeland wool producers through the Bestprac program.

In many regions across the state, dozens of Landcare networks provide umbrella support to varying numbers of Landcare group clusters.

State government

A significant amount of support and resources provided to Landcare community–based groups by the state government was removed when NHT2 came into operation, although the then state Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water continued to support the State Landcare Awards. Since the change in government in 2011, portfolio responsibilities for Landcare support have been undecided. Negotiations are also being undertaken during 2011 to manage the election commitment for additional support to the Landcare approach. The New South Wales Government’s State Landcare Committee was disbanded in 2010 and the number of opportunities for community–based community groups to access funding through the state’s Environmental Trust Grants Program has significantly reduced. This is also going through the process of being reviewed due to the change in government and a commitment to provide dedicated Landcare project funding through the Environmental Trust.

The Natural Resources Commission provides independent advice to the New South Wales government on managing the state’s natural resources.

State Landcare organisations

Landcare NSW Inc was formed in 2006 to represent Landcare in New South Wales. Its membership is drawn from community–based Landcare groups across the state. The terms of reference of Landcare NSW Inc include celebrating Landcare achievements, promoting and representing Landcare, support for an annual Landcare Muster, strategic planning to address issues raised and establishing and enhancing cooperation and partnerships between Landcare and broader natural resource, environmental and primary industry organisations.

Landcare Australia Ltd

The Landcare Australia Ltd head office in Sydney services New South Wales.

NRM regions

There are 13 NRM regions in New South Wales managed by CMAs: Southern Rivers, Hawkesbury Nepean, Northern Rivers, Hunter—Central Rivers, Central West, Border Rivers–Gwydir, Lachlan, Lower Murray Darling, Murray, Murrumbidgee, Namoi, Western, and Sydney Metro.

The Catchment Management Authorities generally involve community–based groups in various ways in their funding bids for regional projects, although the level of involvement can vary from region to region. Some CMAs support group operations by providing support staff and in–kind contributions. All CMAs provide a level of support through their Community Support Officers. Eight of the fourteen CMAs also currently host the Australian Government funded Regional Landcare Facilitators, with the remaining six positions hosted by New England North West Landcare Network Chairs Incorporated (Border Rivers—Gwydir), Hunter Region Landcare Network Incorporated (Hunter Central Rivers), Lachlandcare Incorporated (Lachlan), Holbrook Landcare Group (Murray), Murrumbidgee Landcare Incorporated (Murrumbidgee), New England North West Landcare Network Chairs Incorporated (Namoi), North Coast Regional Landcare Network Incorporated (Northern Rivers).

Local government

Local government generally can support community–based groups in several areas by providing in–kind support such as office space and administration, although the level of support can vary across the state. Some, particularly Coastal Councils, support groups through their environmental levies and the majority of Landcare networks have local government support and membership. State Agencies such as National Parks and Wildlife support volunteers working on National Park Estates and Reserves.

Insurance

It is assumed that community–based groups independently access insurance through brokers such as Austcover, the provider promoted by LAL.

Queensland

Community–based groups

There are approximately 400 farming/pastoral, urban, Indigenous and coastal Landcare community–based groups in Queensland. There are two Landcare networks.

Sustainable Production groups

There are a number of sustainable production groups operating across Queensland:

  • Numerous grower groups operate collaboratively in the grains and mixed farm sector to test and validate sustainable practices at a farm level, most in partnership with the state Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation.
  • Dairy Australia supports one regional dairy program, applying the latest research at a farm level with community cooperation.
  • A network of 31 groups across South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia supports arid zone rangeland wool producers through the Bestprac program. Sheep producers are also serviced by four regional groups under the Leading Sheep project.
  • In 2003, the Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation, the Subtropical Dairy Program and Dairy Australia combined resources to establish the Queensland Dairy NRM program. The program manages and implements the Dairying Better ’n’ Better for Tomorrow Program and a suite of NRM projects, with the QDO managing the Queensland Dairy NRM team on behalf of the partnership. There are 24 Dairying Better ’n’ Better groups throughout the state.

The Sugar Research and Development Corporation helps over 40 sugar industry groups to address sustainability issues.

See Grower Group Services.

  • The fruit, vegetable and nut sector, is represented in Queensland by Growcom. Growcom runs the flagship NRM program, known as Farm Management Systems. The sector is also supported by a large range of commodity groups that cover over 120 crops grown in the state. Growers are also supported by national, regional, supply chain and marketing groups which operate in the main growing areas and are managed though Horticulture Australia and coordinated by specific Industry Advisory Committees (IAC’s).

State government

A large amount of support and resources provided to the Landcare approach by the state government was removed when NHT2 came into operation, although the state Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) continues to fund the operations of Queensland Water & Land Carers Inc (QWaLC) and insurance for Landcare groups.

The Queensland Regional NRM Groups Collective represents the state–wide interests of the 14 NRM regional bodies in Queensland.

State Landcare organisations

QWaLC was established in 2004 to help community volunteers to achieve sustainable resources use through representation, advocacy, promotion, networking and the management/administration of community group insurance. QWaLC also supports state Landcare conferences.

Landcare Queensland Ltd was established in approximately 2004. It provides training and resources and helps Landcarers to access funding. It works with corporate and private donors and businesses to help them build partnerships with Landcare groups locally and regionally. It also supports the State Landcare Awards.

Landcare Australia Ltd

Landcare Australia Ltd has a memorandum of understanding with QWaLC (formerly with Landcare Queensland Ltd) under which it services groups in Queensland.

Regional NRM groups

There are 14 NRM regions in Queensland managed by NRM regional groups: Terrain, Desert Channels Queensland, SEQ Catchments, South West, North Queensland Dry Tropics, Reef Catchments, Queensland Murray–Darling Committee, Cape York Peninsula, Condamine Alliance, Northern Gulf Resource Management Group, Southern Gulf Catchments, Burnett Mary Regional Group, Fitzroy Basin Association, and Torres Strait Regional Authority.

The NRM regional groups generally involve community–based groups in various ways in their funding bids for regional projects, although the level of involvement varies from region to region. Some NRM regional groups support group operations by providing support staff and in–kind contributions.

Local government

Local government generally can support community–based groups in several areas by providing in–kind support such as office space and administration, although the level of support varies across the state.

Insurance

DERM provides funding, managed and administered by QWaLC, for insurance for volunteer groups across the state.

South Australia

Community–based groups

There are more than 500 urban, coastal, bush, streamside and Indigenous Landcare community–based groups in South Australia. Primary producer groups usually do not include ‘Landcare’ in their titles, although they focus on sustainable farm practices and many have accessed Australian Government National Landcare Program and Caring for our Country investment over the last seven years.

Sustainable Production groups

There are a number of sustainable production groups operating across South Australia:

  • Over 16 grower groups operate collaboratively under the umbrella of the South Australian Ag Excellence Alliance in the broadacre grain and livestock sector to test and validate sustainable practices at a farm level across the broadacre cropping areas of the state. They place a key emphasis on working with the NRM regional bodies.
  • The SA Advisory Board of Agriculture (ABA) has been in existence since 1888, with a focus on farming, agricultural development and education. The Bureau helps to bridge the gap between science and farmers, and assists members in working together on issues such as management and marketing. The ABA supports around 100 active Ag Bureau branches spread throughout the state, with groups meeting regularly to exchange ideas, discuss farming practice and keep abreast of the latest developments.
  • The SA No Till Farmers Association (SANTFA) consider themselves to be the largest Landcare group in SA and focus on taking research to practice – with an emphasis on mentoring – through working with growers, NRM bodies, research entities and government agencies.
  • Dairy Australia supports one, Dairying for Tomorrow Coordinator in South Australia who works with regional dairy programs, demonstrating and applying the latest research at a farm level in partnership with regional NRM boards and the broader community.
  • A recent addition has been the Hort Ex Alliance who works with horticultural growers – particularly with ethnic backgrounds (Vietnamese, Cambodian) on the North Adelaide Plains. The Alliance is based on the Ag Ex Alliance model and also includes SA government agencies, the Adelaide and Mt Lofty NRM Board, agri–service providers and other stakeholder groups including local government.
  • A network of more than 30 groups across South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia supports arid zone rangeland wool producers via the Bestprac program.

There are no regionally based Landcare named networks in South Australia. There is however, support from each regional NRM Board for volunteers/land managers/community groups. These networks operate differently in each region.

State government

A large amount of support and resources provided to the Landcare approach by the state government was removed when NHT2 came into operation, although the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) funds the NRM Volunteers Committee, which sits under the South Australian Natural Resource Management Council, as well as the State Landcare Awards and Landcare insurance across the state. DENR also provides support to the Friends of Parks Inc volunteer network.

The South Australian Natural Resource Management Council advises the Minister for Environment and Conservation and the Minister for Water on state–wide NRM matters and the activities of NRM regional boards.)

The NRM Council oversees a sub–committee which supports aboriginal interests and priorities in the State. The Aboriginal State Advisory Committee has representation from each region plus statewide representation that reports to the NRM Council.

State Landcare organisations

The South Australian Landcare Council, the formal State peak Landcare body advising the South Australian Government and Australian Landcare Council, was formally wound up in 2004 when the NRM Council was established. The community established the Landcare Association of South Australia in the 1990s, which has been in recess since approximately 2005, although there is currently a move to make it operational again in an updated format.

Landcare Australia Ltd

The Melbourne office of Landcare Australia Ltd offers services to South Australia.

NRM regions

There are eight NRM regions in South Australia managed by NRM regional boards (with membership from regional communities): Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges, South Australian Murray–Darling Basin, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands and South East. These Boards are currently undergoing a re–structure as part of the South Australian regional integration process which will see the regional Boards become formally part of DENR. A range of committees and groups sit under the NRM regional boards, all with some form of community focus. Most boards also have a volunteer coordinator. Volunteer coordinators meet quarterly as a state–wide network.

The regional NRM Boards generally involve community–based groups in various ways in their funding bids for regional projects, although the level of involvement can vary from region to region. Some boards support community–based group operations by providing support staff and in–kind contributions. The eight regions also currently host the Australian Government funded Regional Landcare Facilitators.

Local government

Local government generally can support community–based groups in several areas by providing in–kind support such as office space and administration support, although the level of support can vary greatly across the state.

Insurance

DENR funds insurance for community–based groups only if they fall under the activities of the NRM boards or Friends of Parks groups.

Western Australia

Community–based groups

As there is no formal state structure existing in Western Australia it is difficult to determine the number of active groups, however, information generated from the six regional groups indicates that there are approximately 500 urban, coastal, bush, streamside and Indigenous Landcare community–based groups in Western Australia.

Primary producer groups usually do not include ‘Landcare’ in their titles, although many have similar objectives and some have accessed Caring for our Country funds over the past three years to work on sustainable farm practices. Previously, under the National Landcare Program, they also accessed funding. Some production groups have also partnered with regional NRM groups to deliver sustainable farm practice projects through the regional group’s Caring for our Country base–level funding. The Grower Group Alliance, funded since 2002 by Grain Research and Development Corporation, is an umbrella group for 46 of these farmer groups and provides a valuable network linking grower groups, research organisations and agribusiness across south west Western Australia. Its funding is sourced primarily through membership fees and corporate partnerships.

Sustainable Production groups

There are a number of sustainable production groups operating across Western Australia:

  • Over 45 grower groups operate collaboratively under the umbrella of the Western Australian Grower Group Alliance in the grains and mixed farm sector to test and validate sustainable practices at a farm level.
  • Dairy Australia, through it’s regional development program, supports Western Dairy in identifying research and training priorities in the Western Australian dairy industry.
  • Grower groups are also involved in national programs such as Evergraze and Grain and Graze.
  • A network of over 30 groups across South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia supports arid zone rangeland wool producers through the Australian Wool Innovation’s (AWI) Bestprac program.
  • A network of 15 groups focus on farm profitability through AWI’s Sheep’s Back program in sheep production areas of Western Australia.

There are also 105 currently gazette Land Conservation District Committees (LCDC) across the state, although a number of these without a committee appointed are effectively in recess, therefore 40 LCDCs are operational.

Although there are no formal regional Landcare networks in place the regional NRM groups maintain contact with groups in their regions and involve them in strategic planning and NRM investment.

State government

State government support for the Landcare approach was reduced to a large degree when NHT2 came into operation, and this trend has continued to the present day. The state Department of Agriculture and Food manages the Land Conservation District Committees and provides a state officer, insurance, information and administrative funds on request ($500 per annum). It also supports the presence of Landcare Australia Ltd in Western Australia (one officer and office facilities) and supports the State Landcare Awards.

The state Natural Resource Management Office coordinates the delivery of natural resource management in Western Australia, manages the Western Australian Government funded State Natural Resource Management Program and provides executive support to the Western Australian Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council.

The NRM Regional Leaders Group operates as an independent, non–government body representing the six regional NRM organisations in Western Australia. The group aims to build strong relationships between key NRM stakeholders and provide effective advice, guidance and local insight into NRM issues and policy development at all levels of government. The NRM regions support a state NRM conference. Discussions held in early 2011 has resulted in the NRM Regional Leaders Group being recognised as a group well placed to provide links to Landcare and related community groups in Western Australia and is currently seeking representation on the NLN on that basis.

State Landcare organisations

The Association of Community Landcare Professionals, established in the 1990s and once active in supporting Landcare professional staff, ceased operations in 2007.

As previously identified there is no formal state structure for local community not–for–profit organisations such as Landcare and related groups. Sustainable farming groups liaise effectively with each other and research and agribusiness through the Grower Group Alliance, and it is hoped that the Western Australia Regional Leaders group will provide an effective forum through which information and opinions on community Landcare can be fed back to the NRM regions and the state and Australian governments.

Landcare Australia Ltd

Supported by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Landcare Australia Ltd has an office in Perth and provides services to Western Australia.

NRM regions

There are six NRM regions in Western Australia managed by NRM regional groups: Rangelands (Rangelands NRM Coordinating Group Inc), Northern Agricultural (Northern Agriculture Catchments Council), Avon (Wheatbelt NRM Inc), South Coast (South Coast NRM), South West (South West Catchments Council) and Swan (Perth Region NRM Inc).

The regional NRM groups generally involve community–based groups in various ways in their funding bids for regional projects, although the level of involvement can vary from region to region. Some regional NRM groups support group operations by providing support staff and in–kind contributions. The six NRM regions also currently host the Australian Government funded Regional Landcare Facilitators.

Local government

Local government generally can support community–based groups in several areas by providing in–kind support such as office space and administration support, but the level of support can vary greatly across the state. Some local government authorities have joint arrangements with NRM groups to support Landcare facilitators and in the Perth metropolitan area there are examples of local government fully funding Bushcare support officers.

Insurance

It is assumed that community–based groups independently access insurance through brokers such as Austcover, the provider promoted by LAL.

Northern Territory

Community–based groups

There are approximately 32 community Landcare, conservation, best practice and friends groups in the Northern Territory, including four large pastoral Landcare groups that extend across the rangelands of the Northern Territory, smaller urban/peri–urban community groups and 42 Indigenous Ranger groups.

Pastoral Landcare associations:

  • The four pastoral Landcare groups in the Northern Territory cover approximately 48 per cent of the land area of the Northern Territory. They are the Barkly Landcare and Conservation Association, Victoria River District Conservation Association, Roper River Landcare Group Inc and Centralian Land Management Association. There is also the Wangamaty (Lower Daly) Landcare group which is made up of pastoral properties and indigenous land holdings and managers in the lower Daly area.

Indigenous Ranger groups:

  • Indigenous land covers approximately half of the land area of the Northern Territory. There are currently 42 Indigenous Ranger groups involved in natural and cultural resource management in the region. They are managed by four land councils, the Indigenous Land Coorporation and resource centres.

Urban/peri–urban groups:

  • In 2007 several urban Landcare groups and local parks friends groups amalgamated to form Alice Springs Landcare Inc.
  • Katherine Landcare has a volunteer coordinator and received funding from the Australian Government’s 2010–11 Community Action Grants program.
  • Tennant Creek has expressed interest in establishing an urban Landcare group.
  • There are about 10–15 Darwin urban, peri–urban and coastal groups that have volunteer coordinators and are active in revegetation, waterway and coastal protection and rehabilitation.

The NT Cattlemen's Association Inc. currently hosts the Australian Government funded Regional Landcare Facilitators in partnership with the Northern Territory Horticultural Association and the Northern Territory Agricultural Association (Northern Territory Primary Industries consortium) and Territory NRM.

Territory government

A large amount of territory government support to the Landcare approach was removed when NHT2 started operating. The Northern Territory Coastcare and Landcare coordination positions, based in Darwin, were abolished in 2010–11. The Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts and Sport provides limited support to the urban Landcare groups around Darwin as well as small grants for volunteer groups. There is also support provided to the major pastoral associations and ranger groups through technical expertise in planning and on–ground works, design and implementation.

NRM regional body

The Northern Territory has one NRM region: Territory Natural Resource Management is a non–government organisation which funds and supports coordination, capacity building and on–ground work of pastoral, Indigenous and urban groups engaged in natural and cultural resource management (Landcare/coastcare, conservation and friends groups etc). It also funds NRM projects delivered through volunteering organisations (e.g. Greening Australia NT, Conservation Volunteers Australia and FrogWatch NT), and through local councils and the Northern Territory Government as well as individual landowners (e.g. TCAs).

Territory NRM funds regional NRM coordinators in Alice Springs, Darwin and Katherine. It also provides operational support to a number of ranger groups and a coordinator for each of the four large pastoral Landcare groups. The board also hosts an annual Landcare forum and will be running the Territory Landcare Awards in 2011. It recently reviewed the Northern Territory Integrated NRM plan in conjunction with government and the community.

State Landcare organisation

The Landcare Council of the Northern Territory, which was established in the late 1990s and operated under the Northern Territory Government, no longer exists.

Landcare Australia Ltd

The Sydney Landcare Australia Ltd office has become more active in the Northern Territory over the last few years. A number of school, community and Indigenous Landcare activities are currently being undertaken.

Local government

The Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT) plays a role generally supporting Landcare groups by providing in–kind support such as office space and administration support.

Insurance

Landcare groups independently access insurance though Austcover, the provider promoted by LAL, or other brokers.

Australian Capital Territory

Community–based groups

Approximately 42 community–based groups are serviced by the ACT Territory and Municipal Services Directorate. Of those groups, approximately 15 are based in New South Wales, as their catchments are situated in both New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Many groups, including Parkcare and friends groups, are focused on urban and peri–urban landscapes while the remainder are focused on rural landscapes.

Territory government

The Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate provides support to the Landcare approach by employing facilitators and facilitating the Territory Landcare Awards. It also provides secretarial services to the ACT Catchment and Landcare Association.

Territory Landcare organisation

The ACT Catchment & Landcare Association is made up of members of each of the four catchment groups, and representatives from Greening Australia, the Conservation Council, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Waterwatch, FrogWatch, the Rural Landholders Association and observers from Rotary and ACTEW Corporation Ltd. The four catchment groups are Molonglo, Ginninderra, Southern ACT and Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment Coordinating Committee. These networks service all Landcare groups in the Australian Capital Territory.

Landcare Australia Ltd

The Landcare Australia Ltd head office in Sydney services the Australian Capital Territory.

NRM regional body

The Australian Capital Territory represents one NRM region managed by the ACT Natural Resource Management Council. The council is the non–statutory and advisory regional body for the territory and advises the ACT Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water on NRM matters.

The ACT Natural Resource Management Council generally involves community–based groups in various ways in their funding bids for regional projects. It also gives some support to group operations by providing support staff and in–kind contributions.

The ACT Natural Resource Management Council provides support to the Regional Landcare Facilitator.

Regional Partners

The Landcare approach in the ACT is strongly supported by a wide variety of non–government organisations (NGOs) and regionally focused community based groups.

  • ACT Catchment & Landcare Association
  • Conservation Council of South East Region and Canberra
  • Conservation Volunteers Australia
  • Greening Australia
  • Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc
  • Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment Coordinating Committee
  • Upper Murrumbidgee Landcare Committee
  • Kosciuszko to Coast

Local government

Local government generally can support volunteer groups in several areas by providing in–kind support such as office space and administration support.

Insurance

The ACT Territory and Municipal Services Directorate covers the costs of insurance for Parkcare groups. It is assumed that all other community–based groups independently access insurance through brokers such as Austcover, the provider promoted by LAL.


1 The Natural Heritage Trust was initiated by the Australian Government in 1997 to restore and conserve Australia’s environment and natural resources. The Trust invested in local, regional, state and national activities to achieve cleaner beaches, healthier waterways, reduced erosion, more productive agricultural land, improved estuarine health and the conservation of threatened species. In 2001, the Australian Government extended the Trust for a further five years, from 2002–03 to 2006–07. The 2004 Budget boosted the Trust with a further $300 million, extending the funding until 2007–08. The Framework for the Extension of the Trust in 2002, based on lessons learnt from the first phase of the Trust and the establishment of the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (the NAP), brought about a fundamental shift towards a more targeted approach to environmental and natural resource management in Australia under the second phase of the Trust.