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$26 million boost for Landcare projects.



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The Hon. Tony Burke MP

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

$26 million boost for Landcare projects

13 July 2009 DAFF09/294B

Farmers, farmer groups and industry bodies will benefit from $26 million in Rudd Government funding for 56 Landcare projects across Australia - part of a major investment in land management and sustainable agriculture.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke announced the funding while visiting the Little River Landcare site, near Dubbo today.

“For more than 20 years the Landcare movement - established by the Hawke Labor Government - has been central to helping Australian farmers get the best from their land,” Mr Burke said.

“Landcare groups have a great record in making farming more sustainable while increasing productivity.

“Currently around three-quarters of Australian farmers are involved or benefit from the shared knowledge of Landcare.

“The projects funded today will help 30 Landcare groups and 20 other community organisations continue the good work,” Mr Burke said.

This investment builds on the $403 million recently announced for environmental and sustainable farming projects as part of Caring for our Country. The Landcare projects will focus on key national targets including:

• Reducing weeds of national significance across more than 400,000 hectares • Helping 6,000 farmers improve their soil and land management practices • Improving sustainable farming knowledge among 12,000 landholders • Reducing threats to 200,000 hectares of native habitat.

Projects in every state have been funded, including $6 million for a Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) project to work with farmer groups on increasing soil cover and reducing erosion over more than two million hectares.

“One of the great opportunities for farmers and land managers across Australia is to increase the amount of carbon stored in their soils, which improves soil health and productivity, and reduces farm-based carbon impacts on climate change,” Mr Burke said.

“The Little River Landcare Group is a good example of this. They will receive almost $220,000 to increase soil carbon through establishing perennial pastures and converting farm machinery to reduce or eliminate tillage.”

A full listing of funded Landcare projects is available at www.nrm.gov.au