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LVI News - October 2020

LANDCARE VICTORIA NEWS

From the CEO

I’m pleased to provide Landcare Victoria’s October newsletter.  It has been a busy month so this is a bumper edition that I hope you will find useful.

Strategy and implementation have been a focus for Landcare Victoria over the last few weeks.  The Landcare Victoria Board is working on a strategic plan that will define and focus our role in support of our members and stakeholders and have an important function in our communications.  We’ve also made some important staff appointments, mentioned below.

While COVID hampers my aim to connect as fully as possible with the Landcare community, I have enjoyed several opportunities to join regional forums and AGMs via Zoom.  I was also pleased to participate in a Members Council meeting early this month and look to growing the impact and influence of this important forum.  Through these connections, I am steadily growing my understanding of the issues and challenges faced by Landcare but also of your tremendous achievements across the State. 

Andrew Maclean
Chief Executive Officer

 

Funding for Landcare

The search for funding to support our Landcare aspirations is never ending and we must be alert to new opportunities.  Here are some programs open now:

Bushfire Recovery for Wildlife and Habitat Community Grants Program

This $10 million program will support communities to undertake on-ground recovery actions from the 2019-20 bushfires, with grants from $5,000 to $150,000 available.

TheGuidelines for this program, including eligibility requirements, are now available at https://www.business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs/Bushfire-Recovery-for-Wildlife-and-Habitat-Community-Grants-Program

Indigenous Fire and Land Management Workshops Program

This $2 million program will support the delivery of workshops to strengthen traditional knowledge and build wider understanding of Indigenous fire and land management practices.  This program is available Australia wide to Traditional Owners, Indigenous organisations and Indigenous enterprises.

The Grant Opportunity Guidelines, sample application and sample grant agreement are now available at  https://www.business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs/Indigenous-Fire-and-Land-Management-Workshops

VicHealth - New funding to help Victorians' health and wellbeing

We all know the important role Landcare plays in building connections in our communities.  This VicHealth program aims to support Victorians experiencing disadvantage, by creating meaningful social connection, providing opportunities for physical activity or by addressing food security issues.

https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/funding/reimagining-health-grants

Future Drought Fund – NRM Drought Resilience Program - Grants

The program will provide grants of between $20,000 and $200,000 to organisations, farmer groups and individuals to build drought resilience on agricultural landscapes.

A competitive grants process for organisations, farmer groups and individuals opened on 29 September 2020. Funding for successful applicants is expected to be provided for activities to commence in 2021.  Applications close soon.

https://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/future-drought-fund

Junior landcare Grants

Landcare Australia has open a small grants program to support Junior Landcare.  If your group has a close relationship with a school, this may be of interest.

https://juniorlandcare.org.au/grants/

Policy and Planning

Landcare Facilitator Program

Landcare Victoria continues to engage with DELWP in relation to renewal of the facilitator program.  We have been pleased to provide feedback on draft guidelines and have urged their early release.  We have stressed that groups will need time to prepare an application and in turn, DELWP will need time to consider them to allow a smooth transition from one round of funding to the next.  We’ve also urged DELWP to have a Plan B ready, in the event that the guidelines cannot be released very soon.

Camping on Licensed Stream Frontages

Many in the Landcare community have expressed concern about proposed amendments to the Victorian Land Act that will allow for camping on licensed Crown water frontages.  Everybody involved in Landcare knows how important and sensitive the riparian zone is. Many landowners and Landcare groups have invested a lot of effort on projects to enhance and protect these zones. It is very important that the voluntary efforts of Landcarers and the stewardship role of licensees is respected in making any changes. 

Landcare Victoria has approached the Minister’s office for an explanation of the process.  Some key points from this discussion and other consultations are:

  • The Government is clearly committed to the amendments in keeping with election commitments about supporting outdoor recreation.
  • Regulations will be made to control camping on Crown frontages.  We should anticipate that they would be at least as stringent as the rules in place for camping in unlicensed frontages or State forest.  For example camping is not presently legal within 20 metres of a watercourse.
  • The Government will consult the community in developing the regulations.  This may provide the Landcare community opportunities to improve regulations for these sensitive areas and to ensure camping is not permitted in unsuitable locations.
  • There appears a good understanding that the proposed amendments should not come into effect until the regulations are in place, allowing for proper consultation and an orderly transition. 

If the amendments pass, Landcare Victoria will focus on ensuring the regulations appropriately protect riparian zones and the interest of licensees from the negative impact of uncontrolled camping.  It will be important to ensure that the Government properly resources DELWP to enable it to enforce those regulations

Regional Catchment Strategy Renewal

Catchment Management Authorities around Victoria have commenced work on renewal of Regional Catchment Management Strategies with a target of completion by mid next year.  These are important over-arching documents that provide direction and coordination for natural resource management in each catchment.  They provide an important basis for Government spending priorities in each region.

Each CMA will engage Landcare along with other sectors in the community to ensure that their RCS addresses community needs and aspirations.  All the CMAs are committed to effective engagement and the approach they take will vary from region to region.  The moral is – don’t be shy.  If your CMA has not yet reached out to your Landcare group, contact them to find out when and how you can be involved.  This link takes you to the CMA contact details:  https://viccatchments.com.au/about-us/our-cma-regions/

Landcare Victoria will continue to engage with the CMAs on a State and regional level to encourage and assist appropriate engagement of the Landcare community. 

Webinar – Recruiting and Engaging Volunteers

Volunteers are at the heart of Landcare.  They need to be recruited and valued if Landcare is to succeed.  At Landcare Australia’s recent webinar, Kim Boswell talked through her method of volunteer recruitment that has been used to recruit thousands of Landcare volunteers in Victoria. The webinar was recorded. 

https://www.landcarer.com.au/recruiting-and-engaging-volunteers/

Landcare Victoria News

New staff at Landcare Victoria

Welcome to two new staff at Landcare Victoria.  Claire Hetzel has joined as the Landcare Development Coordinator.  Claire will be an important liaison with member groups and facilitators in relation to project development, insurance and risk, member group capacity development.  Amanda Grace has been appointed to the role of Office Coordinator.  Amanda has been with Landcare Victoria on a casual basis for a couple of years and will play an important role in member records, membership renewals and in keeping Landcare Victoria’s administration in good shape. 

As previously advised, long serving Landcare Victoria Executive Officer, Susi Johnson will finish her employment with Landcare Victoria on 30 October.  Landcare Victoria and the entire Landcare movement in Victoria is indebted to Susi for her dedication to supporting Landcare over many years.

CLEA – Community Learning for Environmental Action

Landcare Victoria’s CLEA project continues despite the limitations imposed by COVID.  Project leader Ross Colliver reports:  Networks are the mycorrhizal connectors of human communities. They speed up innovation, spread new practices and seed new narratives. But networks are different to hierarchies. They’re self-organising and owned by no-one. How then can you grow them and harness them? LVI's CLEA project is finding out how Landcare groups can work more skilfully with networks. 

 

Code of Conduct - Reminder

Landcare Victoria membership requires members to adopt the Landcare Victoria Inc. Code of Conduct or have a similar code covering these issues.  As many groups are holding annual general meetings that will see new members join Group executives, now is a good time to review the Code to refresh memories and commitment to its principles.

https://www.landcarevic.org.au/groups/state/lvi/landcare-victoria-inc-code-of-conduct/

Membership Renewals

Landcare Victoria members who have not yet renewed their 2020/21 memberships are requested to give the matter prompt attention.  It is important to remember that non-financial members are not entitled to the benefits of membership, including insurance.  If you have any questions, please contact the Landcare Victoria office by email at info@lvi.org.au.

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

 

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