Boost for community projects
Local Landcare groups have shared in almost $160,000 to carry out environmental projects that improve biodiversity and land health across the catchment.
Each year, the Victorian Government offers Victorian Landcare Grants through a competitive grants process run by their catchment management authorities.
This year, the government has funded, through Catchment Management Authorities, 363 across the state, including 143 project grants, 218 support grants and two start-up grants.
In the North Central region, 55 applicants were successful, with 12 project grants and 43 support grants funded.
“Every group that applied must be congratulated for their commitment to their communities and their environment, as, yet again, the quality of the projects seeking funding was impressive,” North Central Catchment Management Authority Engagement and Evaluation Manager James Shaddick said.
“Our local communities are really on the ball when it comes to knowing the priority environmental projects in their towns and regions, and a key part of what we do is to enable those volunteers and organisations to help make the projects happen.”
One of the highlights of this year’s successful grants applicants was the Northern Bendigo Landcare Group’s Championing the Bendigo Creek in a Time of Change project.
“Bendigo Creek is a unique waterway that has experienced enormous change since European occupation and continues to be the centre of much discussion,” Mr Shaddick said.
“The reaches to the north of Bendigo from Epsom to Huntly have been the passionate focus of the local Landcare group since 2009.
“Accompanying unprecedented peri-urban development and some proposals from interest groups, there is renewed interest to embrace Bendigo Creek as a key corridor for recreation, education and culture. “
The group received a grant of more than $15,000 to continue championing Bendigo Creek through habitat restoration activities, collaboration with stakeholders and innovative community events.
Minister for Environment Lily D’Ambrosio said the grants are helping to implement the Government's long-term biodiversity plan – Protecting Victoria's Environment – Biodiversity 2037.
“We’re investing in the work of volunteers because they’re at the front line in protecting Victoria’s environment,” she said.
“These grants will allow our volunteers to keep making a big difference at a grassroots level.”