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Local communities linking land and water - the key to more sustainable agriculture



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h jL·, MEDIA RELEASEMinister for Primary Industries and Energy Simon Crean, MP ' DPIE92/85C 22 October 1992

LOCAL CO M M U N m ES LINKING LAND AND WATER - THE KEY TO MORE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

"The Government's approach to ecologically sustainable development Is best understood by pursuing practical examples, and communities in Western Victoria have done just that," the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, Simon Crean, said today during a visit to the region.

The examples range from the regional scale Wimmera-Mallee pipelining project, the catchment scale Avon Richardson Land and Water M anagement Plan, and the activities of local landcare groups. "The Commonwealth's support in this region this year through land and water programs, and the local capital works program is over $28 million - contributing to jobs, supporting the productive base and improving amenities,'’ Mr Crean said.

"Assistance of $2.1 million over two years for stage one of the Wimmera-Mallee project was provided by the Government in return for reforms which encourage greater efficiency of water delivery and on-farm use, and minimise w ater loss and environmental degradation.

"This will save over 25,000 megalitres of water annually, increase security of supply, allow for new water users and provide environmental flows to restore the environmental quality of the Wimmera River."

The draft management plan for the catchment of the Avon and Richardson Rivers was also launched today by the Minister at a field day in Mamoo.

"The plan was developed by local fanners over three years with Commonwealth support in 1992-93 of $65,000 through the M urray Darling Basin Commission and the National Landcare Program. The objective of the plan is to improve farm management practices, improve productivity, minimise land and water degradation and ultimately retain viable farm enterprises," he said.

In presenting National Soil Conservation Program cheques to landcare groups in the Stawell district Mr Crean said, 'The commitment and effort of over 1300 landcare groups in Australia, all working in partnership with Local, State and

Federal Governments, is fundamental to achieving a more sustainable agriculture.

'It is all too easy to focus on the doom and gloom images of eroded gullies and salt flats while ignoring the positive action taking place throughout rural Australia."

Contact: Catherine Payne (018) 174 875. COMMONWEALTH

PARLIAMENTARY L IB R A R Y MICAH

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600. Telephone: (06)277 7520 Facsimile: (06)273 4120