16.5 C
Byron Shire
May 25, 2024

Landcare funding slashed 80 per cent

Latest News

Surfing on the spectrum – free fun for everyone at Lennox and Byron this Sunday

Ocean Heroes will be giving children who are on the autism spectrum the chance to experience what it is like to be in the ocean on a surfboard this Saturday at Lennox Head and Sunday in Byron Bay.

Other News

Causes of death

There’s been a lot of talk about an epidemic of violence against women lately, including Dr Ray Moynihan’s article...

NSW gov’t opens Tweed Valley Hospital

The NSW government is to officially open the $723.3 million Tweed Valley Hospital today after the transferral of patients to the new facility last week.

Why does Iron Gates developer get another bite at the DA?

Locals, concerned residents and other parties were left in the dark for the first 15 minutes of the Iron...

Rally demands action over Gaza

As the crisis in Gaza continues to escalate, a march through Byron’s streets last Saturday demanded immediate action from the Australian Labor government to stop the genocide and mass starvation of the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza.

Fastest billycart clocked at over 40km/h at Bangalow Billycart Derby

Sunday saw around 5,000 people head to Bangalow to enjoy the Bangalow Billycart Derby with Greg Nash, Bangalow Lions Club President, telling The Echo that it was a ‘glorious autumn day'.

Lismore is getting set to celebrate diversity with Pride Month

June will see the celebration of Pride Month and Lismore will be celebrating with Project Pride.  ‘Lismore and the rainbow...

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare volunteers working at the at New Brighton site removing Bitou Bush. Photo supplied.

An environmental volunteer co-ordination network that supports on-ground Landcare groups to restore degraded public and private land says  there has been a sharp decline in government funding.

A representative of the north coast Regional Landcare Network Hannah Rice-Hayes told The Echo there has been a 64 to 80 per cent funding cut since 2015, owing to ‘changes in federal and state government funding priorities.’

She says a total of over $1.7 million has been cancelled for north coast Local Land Services (NCLLS) programs, which include: Community Capacity Support contract ($804,000), Regional Landcare Facilitator contract ($360,000) and Targeted Engagement contracts ($617,000).   

Rice-Hayes said, ‘The closure of these NCLLS programs at the end of the last financial year represent a 64 per cent decrease in community support that north coast Regional Landcare Network and its member networks are able to provide to the community, and in some cases the decrease has been more than 80 per cent.’

So have the cuts affected local landcare groups? Brunswick Valley Landcare (BVL) co-ordinator Alison Ratcliffe told The Echo while they lost state and federal government funding, Byron Council had been very supportive and have been supplementing costs, including shared work spaces. 

She said, ‘But by June next year, if the governments don’t come on board with funding local and regional co-ordinators, we could end up with nothing.’

Locally

The Green And Clean Awareness Team, which are auspiced by BVL and Landcare, say they have experienced cuts. The team’s co-ordinator Miles Shorten said, ‘Over the last ten years, in addition to Green And Clean Awareness Team’s private and business contributors, BVL has auspiced and helped administer larger single injections of funds (around $25,000 worth of grants), which significantly helped to rehabilitate the dunes at Clarkes and Main Beaches. BVL currently gives us (and other landcare groups) $500 per year for ‘locality group funding’, which is helpful because it can be relied on. Current lack of smaller grant opportunities ($10,000 to $15,000) is sorely missed.’

Local MLC Ben Franklin (Nationals) told The Echo, ‘It is important to note that NLP2 funding is provided by the Australian government. This is not state funding. I am advised by the minister’s office that contracts are still under negotiation with each LLS region.’

‘The NSW government is committed to Landcare NSW and has recently provided more than $2 million over two years to Landcare NSW to develop a sustainable Landcare model.’

In reply, regional Landcare facilitator Hannah Rice-Hayes said, ‘Landcare receives funding support from both levels of government to varying degrees, and naturally they influence one another.’ 

‘The Local Landcare Coordinators Initiative (LLCI) is a state program (partnership between Local Land Services NSW and Landcare NSW).

‘This is ongoing to the end of this financial year, and is the program that Landcare NSW are hoping to see renewed (requiring $32.5 million).’


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Wardell landowners asked to support fire ant eradication

Nearly 900 Wardell properties require treatment for fire ants, but the eradication team needs permission from each landowner.

The Darling Muffs of May need your help to reach fundraising target

Raising money to support frontline services for women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness has been the driving force behind the Darling Muffs of May’s fundraising this year.

Why does Iron Gates developer get another bite at the DA?

Locals, concerned residents and other parties were left in the dark for the first 15 minutes of the Iron Gates (Goldcoral Pty Ltd) Land...

Death and Dying expo May 25

On Saturday May 25, a free Death and Dying expo will be held at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall from 10am-2pm.