11.9 C
Byron Shire
August 1, 2021

Landcare funding slashed 80 per cent

Latest News

Byron beach erosion

Ann Tiernan, Suffolk Park I strongly disagree with Council’s position stated in last week’s Echo that ‘The sand (at Clarkes Beach)...

Other News

Byron Farmers Markets temporarily moved to make way for COVID clinic

The Byron Farmers Market is to be held opposite Elements resort on Bayshore Drive this week, while health authorities use the Cavanbah Centre for a drive-through COVID testing service.

Saddle Road land snapped up for $10m

A picturesque property in Brunswick Heads that was once slated to become an eco-village may become a light industrial precinct after the owners sold it to a developer for $10 million. 

Navigating through laws around business lockdowns

This is the full version from the edited down July 28, 2021 Echo print edition: A flyer circulating within the...

The Block mute over its plans for Byron TV show

Plans by reality television TV show, The Block (Nine), to base an upcoming series on  Sunrise Boulevard in Sunrise, Byron Bay, has upset an elderly neighbour.

Vehicle access to Unicorn Falls to close

President of the recently formed Byron Hikers Club says a ‘controversy is brewing’ around National Parks’ recently announced plans to close vehicle access to Unicorn Falls, located on South Chowan Road behind Upper Main Arm.

Nolan’s Soapbox

Duncan Shipley-Smith, Byron Bay The sinister suggestion by Nolan in last week’s Echo conflating anti-vaccination supporters with extreme right-wing ideology (XRW)...

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

A day of ‘thank you’

Alison Drover, Broken Head How about a day of ‘thank you’ to our health workers and ‘sorry’ from our prime minister and ‘please’ from the community? Instead...

Nolan’s Soapbox

Duncan Shipley-Smith, Byron Bay The sinister suggestion by Nolan in last week’s Echo conflating anti-vaccination supporters with extreme right-wing ideology (XRW) demands a response. This is...

Shooting in Nimbin

There is a police operation currently underway in Nimbin following a shooting earlier today.

Knife-wielding criminal on the loose in Byron Bay

A terrifying media release is still on the loose in Byron Bay after escaping from the computers of Council candidates Rhett Holt and Cr Alan Hunter.  'It is a frightful to wake up at three in the morning to a man blood dripping with a backpack full of knives using your shower,' the [sic] release said...