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Communities get a hand to care for the land



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S e n a t o r t h e H o n . J o e L u d w i g

M i n i s t e r f o r A g r i c u l t u r e , F i s h e r i e s a n d F o r e s t r y

S e n a t o r f o r Q u e e n s l a n d

M E D I A R E L E A S E

Media contact: Katana Smith 0459 813 574

Communities get a hand to care for the land

New grants announced today will support community groups and their work to keep Australia’s productive land healthy, resilient and sustainable.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, announced the new Community Landcare Grants after visiting Landcare projects in Redcliffe and Ipswich in Queensland this week.

“Community Landcare Grants will provide grants of between $5 000 and $50 000 to community groups under the Caring for our Country Sustainable Agriculture stream,” Minister Ludwig said.

“This program builds on the success of the previous Community Action Grants, but with a renewed focus on sustainable farming and fisheries, agricultural innovation and community capacity building.

“During this week, I have met with groups of volunteers who are passionate about their communities and undertaking works to improve the sustainability of their local environment.

“There are many projects already underway across Australia, projects which have benefited from funding under stage one of Caring for our Country. The new Community Landcare Grants will provide even greater opportunities for groups like these.”

The Community Landcare Grants may be used for demonstrating, trialling and adopting cropping, grazing and other farming practices that improve soil condition and reduce wind and water erosion as well as to demonstrate best fishing practices.

The upper threshold for the small grant funding under Caring for our Country has increased from $20 000 to $50 000, in response to feedback received during the review of Caring for our Country. Another positive change is that groups may now apply for funding for projects that increase skills and capacity without the need for an associated on-ground target.

“These changes made by the Gillard Government recognise the importance of supporting people to bring about change in the landscape,” Minister Ludwig said.

“I encourage Landcare and other local community-based groups and Indigenous organisations involved in sustainable agriculture, to apply for the new Community Landcare Grants.”

Community Landcare Grant applications close at 5pm (AEDT) on 20 March 2013.

For more information on Community Landcare Grants visit the Caring for our Country website at www.nrm.gov.au or call 1800 552 008.

24 JANUARY 2013