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LVI News - March 2021

From the CEO + Member group survey results + Support for Landcare + Policy and Planning + LVI updates

Landcare Victoria Newsletter

From the CEO - March 2021

Victorian landcare groups are busy this month preparing applications for facilitator positions under the Victorian Landcare Facilitator Program. We all know how valuable these roles are.  I’ve valued the opportunity to discuss aspects of the application process with members and to pass on issues and concerns to DELWP on their behalf.  LVI members may be interested in the results of the survey we issued a couple of weeks ago.  See the item below.

I’ve enjoyed a couple of COVID-safe expeditions to visit member groups in recent weeks. Thanks to landcare facilitator Asha Bannon at Connecting Country for her invitation to the Landcare Linkup event in Castlemaine. I enjoyed learning about the achievements and issues of members in the goldfields. I also had the great pleasure of visiting landcare members in the Warrenbayne Boho and Molyullah Tatong groups and saw the benefits of the many years of great work these groups have undertaken.

We’ve recently issued advice to group contacts and voting delegates in relevant regions about arrangements for the upcoming Annual General Meeting. We’ve still got a bit of planning work to do, but it is important that members have all necessary details up to date to ensure they can vote.

Andrew Maclean

Support for Landcare

Victorian Landcare Facilitator Program - applications open

Applications for funding are now open for Landcare and environmental volunteering groups and networks that want to employ a Landcare facilitator under the 2021-24 Victorian Landcare Facilitator Program. Applications close 5pm Thursday 18 March 2021. For more information visit https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/grants/vlfp

Landcare Victoria Inc has developed advice to assist LVI members engaged in preparing applications, available on the Landcare Gateway here.

Employment Hosting Arrangements: Some members have decided that they are unable to directly employ a facilitator and are looking for partner organisations that could take on that role.  While a local partner is likely preferable, especially if they can add value through in kind support, member groups might like to consider Landcare Victoria as the employment host. If members wish to discuss the possibility, please contact CEO Andrew Maclean on 0417 052 495.

DELWP Grants Programs

In addition to the Landcare Facilitator Grants, DELWP is currently calling for applications for grant funding under various programs including:

  • Port Phillip Bay Fund
  • Aboriginal Community Caring for Country Grants
  • Community Volunteer Action Grants

See https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/grants for more information.

Member groups who wish to apply under LVI grant auspicing arrangements must ensure that their membership is up to date prior to DELWP's grant assessment timelines. Please contact Amanda at info@lvi.org.au to finalise outstanding membership renewals.

General Jeffery Soil Health Award

The General Jeffery Soil Health Award recognises the efforts of the people who are caring for our land and honours the exceptional work of Australia’s first National Soils Advocate, the late Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery, AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd), who passed away late last year.

The award is open to any individual farmer, land manager, extension specialist or educator who is making an exceptional contribution to soil health in Australia. The winner will be sponsored to attend in person, the National Landcare Awards Gala Dinner where they will receive a trophy and a cash prize of $20,000.

The award is supported by the Office of the National Soils Advocate within the Australian Government Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Let’s be sure that Landcarers are well represented in the applications. Apply Now! Nominations close 31 March.

Landcare Bushfire Recovery Funding

The Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment has invited an application from Landcare Australia and the National Landcare Network to develop and deliver a program of bushfire recovery, across seven Australian regions, including East Gippsland and the North East. 

LVI convened a meeting on the 5th March to alert members in these two regions to the upcoming opportunity and to hear how they can best be supported in the way the program is designed and delivered. This funding is potentially a very important opportunity to demonstrate the effective role and capability of the landcare sector, from the national, through State to local level. If you would like to discuss this program, please contact Andrew Maclean at andrew.maclean@lvi.org.au.

Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program – Small Grants 

The Australian Government is inviting applications for funding under Round 1 of the Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program (Small Grants).

There is $6 million available in total funding for this round. Grants range between $5,000 and $50,000. This is an open, competitive grants round.
The program supports community-led, on-ground projects that improve the health and ecological condition of rivers and wetlands in the Murray–Darling Basin, whilst supporting economic development and jobs.

Details are on the community grants hub

Electric Fencing Grants 

Applications are open for the 2021 Gallagher Landcare Electric Fencing Grants. Gallagher is continuing its commitment to support projects aligned with the priority areas of conservation fencing and grazing management.

Eligible applicants are invited to apply for an individual electric fencing project grant for up to $8,000, for fencing materials. Up to 12 grants across Australia are planned.  Applications close 9th April. Apply via Landcare Australia.

 

Policy and Planning

Landcare Facilitator Member Survey 

Thanks to the several hundred members who contributed to our survey about the Landcare Facilitator Program. A report of the survey findings is on the Landcare Gateway.

Some key results from the survey include widespread concern about the capacity of community landcare to adapt to new governance and employment standards required by DELWP (but also recognition that these standards are important); and a widespread view that the new guidelines will weaken community landcare ability to deliver on-ground results. The survey also provided valuable information about support needs for community landcare. 

DELWP has been provided a copy of the survey report. LVI will continue to work with DELWP to ensure that the roll-out of the facilitator program meets landcare community needs.
 

Camping on Crown water frontages 

The Victorian Government has released draft regulations to provide for camping on licensed Crown water frontages, an activity prohibited until Parliament amended the Land Act last year. Landcare members with an interest in the process are welcome to make a submission about the regulations and LVI will make a submission on behalf of all landcare members. Information about the regulations is here:  https://engage.vic.gov.au/regulated-watercourse-land-regulations
 

Smallholder Farming Survey

Researchers from Charles Sturt University, the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation and Animal Health Australia are undertaking a study that aims to gain a better understanding of current smallholder farming networks in Australia. Smallholder farms may be productive and commercial on a small-scale and/or may be farms with livestock kept as a hobby to enjoy the farm lifestyle.

Researchers are seeking your input so that they can identify what you believe are valuable topics and activities to inform the design of additional smallholder farming networks. To achieve this, they are asking you to take part in this online survey which should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

For further information on what the study involves and to begin the survey, please click on the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Smallhds
 

Parliamentary Friends of Landcare 

Senator Raff Ciccone and Senator Perin Davey are co-conveners of the Australian Parliamentary Friends of Landcare, which is to be launched at Parliament House in Canberra on 16 March. Thanks to Senators Ciccone and Davey for their leadership and support for the vital work Australia’s landcare community delivers.
 

COVID safety requirements – register your event 

COVID-19 is still with us and even though some restrictions have been eased, it is important that the landcare community demonstrates best COVID safe practice and conforms to State regulations. All Victorian businesses must have a COVIDSafe Plan. In addition, landcare groups organising public events must register their event with the Victorian Government. There is more information at: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/public-events

 

Landcare Victoria News

LVI Member Database Upgrade - help from members needed

Thanks to members who have volunteered to join a user reference panel to help to design and test a user interface to be sure our new database meets member needs as best we can. We have four nominees so far (thank you to them) and could likely use a couple more. If you would like to help, please contact Andrew Maclean at the LVI office by email info@lvi.org.au or call 0417 052 495.

Landcare Victoria Inc. Annual General Meeting

This is another reminder that the 2021 Annual General Meeting of Landcare Victoria Inc. will be held on 21 May 2021 (other details to follow). Information about the AGM was circulated to member groups last week and is available on the Landcare Gateway, including an advance notice and call for nominations.

Members Council

The Landcare Victoria Members Council plays an important role in ensuring the views of landcare members influence the decisions of the LVI Board and management. LVI is aware of concern that the Members Council has not been active during 2020 and has commenced a Board-driven process to revitalise it for 2021. Success of the Member Council depends on the active engagement of members, so if you are interested in contributing, please put your name forward for membership. The Members Council Charter provides an overview of the important role of this representative body. Nomination forms are available on the Landcare Gateway. To discuss this opportunity and details of the nomination process please contact Claire via info@lvi.org.au.

Landcare Employment Referral Service (ERS)

LVI’s role in administration of the ERS ceased at the end of February. DELWP will now directly contract Workplace Legal to provide this service. Contact details remain unchanged – call Workplace Legal on 03 9972 4950 for advice. LVI will work with DELWP to seek support for a more comprehensive program of support for landcare group governance and operational capacity.

Acknowledgements

Landcare Victoria Inc is grateful for the funding support provided by:

  • Victorian Government Landcare Program
  • Australian Government National Landcare Program
  • Natural Resources Conservation League
  • Rendere Trust – Phillipson family
  • Upotipotpon Trust – Crothers family
  • Public Records Office Victoria
  • Our 600 Member Groups

We pay our respect to the Traditional Owners of the lands in Victoria. We take inspiration from the legacy of Victorian Aboriginal people, who have produced food, while caring for the ecological systems that life depends upon, for tens of thousands of years.

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The LVI Newsletter for March is now available. Click into the news item for an update from the CEO, to access information about the Victorian Landcare Facilitator Program member survey results, for an update on support available to groups, and to read about policy and planning highlights relevant to Landcare.

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