Landcare is in crisis in NSW as successive Labor and Liberal/National governments have cut support to local groups, according to Greens candidate for Lismore, Adam Guise.
Mr Guise yesterday called for an inquiry into the structure and funding of the organisation, adding a trust should be set up to ensure its ongoing financial viability.
‘Landcare is one of the most important volunteer networks in the country; for 30 years it has been the backbone of supporting farmers and the community to care for land across NSW and Australia,’ he said.
‘We’ve seen governments on both sides fail to fund it adequately,’ he added.
Mr Guise called for ‘cross party support for Landcare that ensures that Landcare funding isn’t subject to the political whims of a Liberal/National or Labor government.
‘Last year the Liberal/National government in Canberra announced cuts of almost half a billion dollars out of Landcare and Caring for Our Country programs,’ he said.
‘And the Liberal/National state government has only committed to half the funding being asked for by Landcare NSW,’ he added.
‘Funding cuts have led to much uncertainty on the ground and jeopardised good local projects.’
Mr Guise said the Greens would back Landcare NSW proposals that would see the Landcare network becoming a stand-alone organisation reporting directly to the environment and agriculture ministers.
‘And the Greens support Landcare NSW calls for a Trust Fund with $7.5 million a year in perpetuity for administration, guaranteeing around 40 Landcare coordinators across the state.
‘Such reforms require cross-party support and the Greens want a parliamentary inquiry into the structure and funding of Landcare in NSW so that it is protected and supported into the future,’ Mr Guise said.
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