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Thursday, 15 May 2014
Page: 3981


Mr TEHAN (Wannon) (10:25): Madam Deputy Speaker Andrews, it is lovely to see you in the chair. I do not think I have had the call from you before! Congratulations on your appointment, and it is terrific to see you in the chair.

I stand today to talk about a wonderful project that is taking place in my electorate. It is called the Basalt to Bay Landcare Network project, and is all about providing information to farmers on the benefits of shelter belts. Yesterday, the Basalt to Bay Landcare Network published their latest report on how to continue to make farming more sustainable and more profitable.

The report on the economic benefit of native shelter belts reviews how farmers can use gradual native plantations along paddock line fences to assist with topsoil, crop and pasture yields, dairy production and animal health. The report has been supported by organisations ranging from Bega, Australian Wool Innovation to Meat and Livestock Australia. Their participation has contributed to the significance of its findings, and it shows the breadth of support that this project enjoys.

This Basalt to Bay Landcare Network project fits extremely well with what the government is trying to do in the environmental space. Yesterday we were debating in the House about the Green Army legislation which is before the House, and which will encourage young people to get out and join a Green Army and help to improve Australia's environment. This Basalt to Bay Landcare Network project has in it exactly the type of information which will enable projects to be put together so that we can see shelter belts go up around Australia. They will add more farming profitability and a sustainable environment.

I was very disappointed that I could not be there yesterday when this project was launched, but I had a statement prepared which was read out. I thank the Basalt to Bay Landcare Network for enabling me to support what they were doing yesterday. I commend this publication to the House. I ask everyone, especially those with interest in regional and rural Australia, to have a look at it because it is an initiative which is excellent in its nature and I think it will have long-term implications for farming in this country.