Landcare groups are excellent models of community engagement, and the return they deliver for the environment in the North East is invaluable, according to the Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan AO.
Ms McGowan attended the Burgoigee Creek Landcare group AGM on Tuesday, July 8, at the recently renovated Murmungee Hall. About 50 people packed the community hall for wide-ranging discussions on Landcare and the environment.
“I want to congratulate the Burgoigee Creek Landcare group for the fantastic work they do in the Murmungee district,” Ms McGowan said.
Ms McGowan will champion and represent Landcare in Parliament and is encouraging groups to be pro-active in seeking government funding from the Green Army and Carbon Farming initiatives.
“I want to support the movement and see it grow in Indi - there are now 75 Landcare groups, including special-issue groups, right across the North East,” Ms McGowan said.
“Landcare is an incredible movement of volunteers, providing opportunities for all people in the community to be engaged in significant social, economic and environmental work. Within Landcare communities, there is also strong sense of success and achievement not only when projects come to fruition, but also when the long-term aims are reached. Our communities will grow and thrive if Landcare continues to grow and thrive.”
The Independent Member for Indi believes changes in Government funding will impact this volunteer movement, which has created exceptional results through hard work and collaboration.
“While the environmental benefits of Landcare are obvious, the social benefits are also particularly important for rural and regional Australia,” Ms McGowan said.
In almost 30 years since the inception of Landcare, hundreds of projects have been completed for the betterment of local environments. These have included tree and understorey planting, management of salinity and soil control, rabbit control, erosion, seed collection, planning wildlife corridors and coordinating weed control, including weeds of national significance.
Ms McGowan said estimates show for every government dollar of funding, $8 of value in time, money and resources is contributed by Landcare groups and participants.
“Landcare also plays an important educational role, with many students from local schools participating in projects, which teaches them about the importance of caring for the environment and treating it with respect.”