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Burdekin knowledge worth sharing.

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DAFF04/136MJ - 7 July 2004

Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation - Senator Ian Macdonald Queensland Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy - Stephen Robertson

Burdekin knowledge worth sharing

Experienced landcare practitioners or 'community coaches' in the Burdekin Catchment will be encouraged to impart their knowledge and experience to other landholders thanks to $51,000 in Australian and State Government funding.

Australian Conservation Minister and Burdekin resident, Senator Ian Macdonald, and Queensland Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Stephen Robertson said the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality encouraged experienced landcare practitioners to impart their knowledge to other landholders by being compensated for their time and travel.

"Initially, $51,000 will be available for this activity, which will complement the work of the existing facilitator and coordinator network in the region," Senator Macdonald said.

"Experienced landholders are referred to as community coaches because of their skills in training neighbouring landowners in areas like salinity-hazard maps, collecting information on project outcomes, monitoring water and surveying pasture condition.

"We need to be innovative if we are going to make a real difference in the way land is managed in a region as vast as the Burdekin Catchment."

Mr Robertson said the concept was built on the voluntary landcare movement, which was one of the pillars of Australia's approach to natural resource management.

"The community coaches will be well regarded by their peers and selected on the basis of their experience," he said.

"Apart from imparting practical on-ground advice, they will also be valuable in the identification of emerging issues or problems, to notify the sub-regional or the regional body of these and to initiate action."

The project will be managed by the Burdekin Dry Tropics Board, one of 15

Natural Resource Management regional bodies that have been set up in Queensland to develop regional plans and deliver the governments' major NRM programs. The Burdekin Catchment covers about 140,675 sq km, much of which is utilised for grazing.

Further media inquiries: Senator Macdonald's office: David Crisafulli 0400 144 483 Minister Robertson's office: Penny Fox (07) 3896 3694