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$28 million for landcare and sustainable farming projects.

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The Hon. Tony Burke MP Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

$28 million for landcare and sustainable farming projects

21 July 2008 DAFF 08/087B

Farms around Australia will be better protected and more resilient in the face of climate change, with a $28 million landcare funding package announced today by the Rudd Government.

The three-year package will fund 140 landcare projects as part of the Government’s new $2.25 billion Caring for our Country initiative - a key election commitment.

Funding will be provided to a range of landcare groups, Catchment Management Authorities, research centres, industry groups and natural resource management bodies.

Since the early 1990s, the landcare program has funded projects focused on improving the management of soils, water and vegetation at a farm and community level.

In addition to today’s funding, landcare groups can apply under another Caring for our Country program - the $25 million Open Grants 2008 fund, which is open for applications until Friday 1 August.

Projects to be funded as part of today’s $28 million funding package include:

• $297,000 to Richmond Landcare in northern NSW to educate landholders about the storage of carbon in soil to boost productivity and sustainability;

• $300,500 to the Torres Strait Regional Authority in Queensland to promote sustainable horticultural practices in local communities;

• $128,000 to the Ord Irrigation Cooperative in the Kimberley, Western Australia to encourage the uptake of precision agriculture, through the use of soil and yield data and satellite images;

• $52,000 to the South Australian No-Till Farmers Association to build knowledge in sustainable grain farming practices, including stubble retention;

• $56,659 to Rainbow & District Landcare in Victoria to research efficient cropping and grazing strategies;

• $80,000 to upper Goulburn Landcare in Victoria to look at grazing strategies in the region; and

• Up to $114,800 for the Northern Territory Seafood Council to draw on the knowledge of Indigenous marine rangers and others to research juvenile mud crabs.

It is estimated that around three-quarters of Australian farmers are either involved in landcare activities or benefit from knowledge acquired through the landcare movement.

“The Rudd Government recognises that farmers are on the front line when it comes to the future impact of climate change,” Mr Burke said.

“It is vital that we continue to invest in landcare projects which will lead to more sustainable farming and more resilient rural and regional communities in the future.

“Practical projects at a farm level will underpin a globally competitive agriculture industry.”

For the full list of projects go to