Boost for community projects
Local Landcare groups have shared in more than $250,000 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 allocated, through Catchment Management Authorities, $2.8 million to more than 500 groups.
In the North Central region, 65 applicants were successful, with 18 project grants and 47 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 (CMA) Regional Landcare Coordinator Tess Grieves said.
“This year we were thrilled to receive a one-off funding boost of almost $100,000. While it’s not a huge amount of money, it certainly makes a huge impact in a program like Landcare.
“The additional funding almost doubled the successful projects this year and extends greater support to Landcare groups and the local communities’ priority environmental projects.”
One of the highlights of this year’s successful grants applicants was the Malmsbury District Landcare Group’s project titled ‘Willows and Wombats – A War on Weeds or a Wildlife Wasteland?’
“Malmsbury and District Landcare Group have recently received the Landcare Community Group Award at the recent Victorian Landcare Awards,” Ms Grieves said.
“This funded project is another feather in their cap and builds on past successes, engages new landholders and local school students so everyone can share in the future of Malmsbury’s environment.”
The group received a grant of $20,000 to tackle the last major weed infestation on the Malmsbury Common and build on past efforts.
Recent camera surveys have established the presence of wombats in the area next to the willows and their burrows will be threatened by the erosion of the riverbank that comes as the willows grow and start to alter the stream flow.
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.
“Our volunteers are invaluable, and these grants will allow them to continue to make a significant difference at a grassroots level,” she said
“Landcare has been an institution in Victoria for the past 30 years and this funding boost will ensure it continues to make a significant contribution to both the environment and the economy.”
“We’ve invested more than $9 million each year of the program so communities can enjoy our precious natural environment for years to come.”
Full list of the successful grants is at https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/landcare/victorian-landcare-grants-2019-20-successful-applicants
Photo caption: Malmsbury and District Landcare Group members John Walter and Jan Taylor. PHOTO: Sandy Scheltema.