$32.5m needed for local, regional and statewide Landcare support

Landcarers are urging the NSW Government to continue working with Landcare NSW on a policy and funding package to ensure Landcarers in rural, coastal and urban areas have the support they need to carry out their valuable work to protect and restore our natural resources.

The Government’s NSW Local Landcare Coordinator Initiative ends in June 2019. To enable a seamless transition to the next phase of the program, an allocation is sought in this year’s State Budget. Read more here.

“The NSW Government has been consistent in its support for Landcare, as have all MPs through the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Landcare. We can’t risk breaking the momentum that’s been built over the past three years,” said Landcare NSW Chair Rob Dulhunty.

“With leadership from the NSW Government and Local Land Services, Landcare is undergoing a resurgence. We’re seeing new groups forming and old groups being revived, leading to a substantial increase in voluntary activity to protect and restore our natural resources.

“Landcare makes economic sense. Our 60,000 Landcarers invest their own time and money in activities that otherwise would fall to governments to provide at a far greater cost.

“Good work is happening around the State but to keep it going Landcarers need continued support,” said Mr Dulhunty. See this short video about the impact of Local Coordinators.

Recently the Minister, the Hon Niall Blair MLC, was asked a question in Parliament. He expressed his strong support for Landcare while querying why the $15 million for the current Local Landcare Coordinator Initiative (LLCI) has increased to an estimated $32.5 million.

The $32.5 million covers the four year cost of an effective Landcare support program of local and regional Landcare coordinators and statewide services provided by Local Land Services and Landcare NSW.

In 2014 Landcare NSW advised the Government the cost of Landcare support was around $30m over four years. The $32.5m estimate for the next period includes a previously unfunded element, that of an Aboriginal Landcare initiative, which the Landcare community has consistently identified as a high priority.

The actual amount required from the State Government Budget is reliant upon the level of co-investment from the partnership with Local Land Services and possibly other NSW Government agencies. Funding provided to the NSW Government from the Federal Government’s National Landcare Program (NLP2) is a key consideration. Landcare NSW is also working to generate revenue through membership, donations and fee-for-service arrangements to contribute to the funds needed.

The constraints of all partners and governments are recognised, however a partially funded Landcare support program is unviable and will diminish the returns on investment achieved through the initial four year initiative. With ongoing core support, Landcare groups will be able to continue building partnerships and bringing funding opportunities to their regions, generating a host of spin off benefits.

Read more here: https://landcarensw.org.au/partners/

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