This summer’s events are a reminder of the scale and complexity of the challenges that we face in protecting our environment, our productive and sustainable farms, and the well-being of all our communities.

For Landcare NSW, 2020 has started at a frenetic pace with lots of key activities underway.

Landcare NSW is actively pursuing a number of partnerships and funding arrangements to benefit the Landcare community including a partnership with the Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT). Landcare NSW received a funding deed for $1.37 million last month which will cover the cost for rolling out a number of educational activities that will bring together people such as landowners and highlight what the BCT is offering to people on the land and in our communities.

Landcare NSW’s partnership with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE), that was announced at the Trees in the House event in November, has been formalised with the signing of an MOU for the Greater Sydney Landcare Network to deliver the planting of 100,000 trees in the Greater Sydney region as part of the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s Five Million Trees program.

With all our partnerships, we insist that all partnership programs and projects are co-designed, co-delivered, co-managed and co-governed. All these partnership programs and projects are co-governed by Joint Management Committees made up of leaders and senior executives from the two partner organisations, similar to the one we have with Local Land Services (LLS) for the delivery of the NSW Landcare Program.

Landcare NSW signed an MOU with Saving Our Species in February to promote and raise additional funding for the program with non-government sources. Linda Bell spoke to the Landcare NSW Council at its February Council meeting.

Gotcha4Life and Landcare NSW have also entered a partnership, and an Expression of Interest has gone out to all Landcare regions to seek funding to deliver Mental Fitness Weeks in rural and regional areas across the state in 2020.

Late in 2019, Landcare NSW submitted a business case for $20 million for the delivery of activities related to disaster relief, recovery and preparedness. This was submitted at the beginning of the disaster season, since then the problem has obviously escalated significantly. I believe Landcare should be the go-to vehicle for the delivery of these kinds of services. The Chair, our Government Relations Manager and I had a meeting with Minister Adam Marshall to discuss the business case and the role Landcare can play and these discussions are ongoing.

Corporate partnerships are also an area Landcare NSW is developing and exploring as the interest in corporate volunteering in bushfire affected areas continues to increase.

I recently toured the New England North West region as part of my regional visits and had excellent meetings with Granite Borders, GWYMAC, GLENRAC and SNELC. These tours are critical for Landcare in NSW to become more integrated, holistic, cooperative and collaborative.

We are also setting up regular video conferencing calls with Chairs, Committee Members, Regional Landcare Coordinators so we can keep the communication channels open to discuss what is happening at Landcare NSW and within the Landcare community in NSW and nationally.

The Joint Management Committee is currently involved in the recruitment process for the NSW Landcare Program 2019-2023 team positions and this will be finalised in March. This will ensure we have a transparent and equitable process for recruitment of staff and it also allows staff to refocus on what the new program is all about, as there are some significant changes in the new program compared to the previous Local Landcare Coordinator Initiative (LLCI).

You can read more about the NSW Landcare Program in the update provided by the State Landcare Coordinator here.

Lastly, this month marks my second anniversary with Landcare NSW. Time has really gone by quickly, which is a testament of how much I am enjoying my role. Thank you all for your support and I hope that together we will continue to build a Landcare NSW that truly has the interests of its members at its heart, and which uses a business mindset to achieve its strategic goals.

Dr Adrian Zammit
Landcare NSW CEO