Additional funding underpins NRM WA collaborative effort

Chair of NRM WA, Dr Rob Keogh has thanked the WA State Government for an increase in Natural Resource Management and Landcare funding in Western Australia, with a $500,000 added to the State NRM Grant budget, and a once off $1 million grant to support core business of NRM Regions and the Western Australian Landcare Network.

The additional $500,000 brings the State NRM Grant budget to $7.5 million, and applications for this close on 15 June.

The $1 million package provides for $100,000 for each of the seven (7) Regional NRM organisations that cover W.A., and a $300,000 allocation to the Western Australian Landcare Network (WALN).  Each organisation has to apply for the funding, against a criteria to support landcare and local community-based NRM across WA.

The seven (7) Regions have collaborated in the development of their applications which address common issues and opportunities as well the needs of their local communities.  “NRM and Landcare priorities across WA are very diverse”, Dr Keogh said.  “Responding to the needs of pastoralists in the Kimberley requires a completely different model than that for supporting Landcare groups in Perth or Esperance or Mandurah”.

One state wide need is to upskill and provide professional development and support for our NRM and Landcare community volunteers, professionals, and land managers.  To this end we have built into our applications individual training modules that not only meet the needs of a particular regional community but has wider application. Taking advantage of on-line training technology, modules developed by individual NRM Regions will be shared across the state, in a collaborative initiative we are calling the “NRM Skills Network”.

This will give our NRM and Landcare communities a range of training opportunities, which can be shared across the state. For instance, Wheatbelt NRM will develop and deliver a community training package for feral animal control with a focus on feral cats.  The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council will deliver a purpose designed farm planning “train-the-trainer” program focussing on post fire recovery and water management.  Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) will focus on values-based messaging, South West Catchments Council (SWCC) on social media training and so on.

We are excited at the concept of this program and hope that our submissions will be successful.

Other aspects of our submissions include improving communications and direct support for Landcare groups as well as improving collaboration with Recognised Biosecurity Groups.

While Regional NRM groups and WALN very much want to support landcare, there is limited funding available to enable this under the current models, beyond the fiercely contested State NRM Community Stewardship Grants, which is the State’s central pillar to support NRM and Landcare.

We are therefore very pleased that Minister MacTiernan recognises the value our communities place on and contribute to NRM and landcare, and that the State are working with us in this space.  We appreciate the $1 million support for the industry and welcome the opportunity to work with the Minister to achieve a sustainable model of NRM delivery for WA.

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