Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty pays Landcare Gathering a surprise visit

Minister Tara Moriarty met Landcare members and representatives at their NSW State Gathering in Coffs Harbour.

MINISTER for Agriculture and Regional NSW Tara Moriarty made a welcome surprise visit to the Landcare NSW State Gathering where she confirmed the NSW Government’s commitment to providing Landcare with almost $59m for its 2023-2027 program, almost trebling the investment on the 2019-2023 program which received $22.5m.

Larry Langman was in attendance as Secretary of Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare, Secretary of North Coast Regional Landcare and a representative for the North Coast Landcare NSW State Advisory Council.

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“Minister Moriarty announced continuing interim funding support for the next phase of the NSW Landcare Program 2023-27 in front of 180 assembled partners at a three-day natural resource conference – the NSW Landcare State Gathering – held 16-18 May 2023 at the BreakFree Aanuka Beach Resort in Coffs Harbour,” Larry told News Of The Area.

“While the NSW Landcare Program 2019-23 delivered in excess of $86m of benefit for a program investment of $22.5m, the benefit in terms of long term repair of country, re-hydration of our landscape, eradication of invasive species and preservation of many of our endangered population, responded to community concerns in each of these areas.”

Larry said that Landcare’s work reminds communities that they are not alone.

“Local communities working together on local projects underlies the community resilience that we all strive for,” said Larry.

Noting the significant contribution the Landcare Program 2019-2023 made to communities recovering from firstly drought, then bushfires, then floods, the NSW State Gathering members acknowledged the power of volunteer organisations and government agencies partnering to deliver sustainable outcomes in urban, peri-urban and rural settings.

“These partnerships created and delivered community-based natural resource management projects and projects supporting landholders across the state,” said Larry.

“The 2019-23 Program has also seen the initiation of an Aboriginal engagement program, called Working Together, that will now be extended right across the state through the creation of a network of Aboriginal Engagement Officers building on achievements to date.”

The Minister announced at the State Gathering that the NSW Government will continue to fund the existing Local and Regional Landcare Coordinator positions while navigating the transition to the new program.

This will allow for planning and the recruitment of full-time positions to take place while also allowing the current part-time coordinators to carry on their valuable work.

Barry Powells, President Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare (CHRL), told NOTA, “We were both surprised and pleased to have the Minister attend our annual gathering in Coffs Harbour and show the government’s appreciation for all we are doing to preserve and enhance natural environments throughout the state.

“In our North Coast environment this funding will allow us to not only continue with our current projects but develop more significant long-term relationships with rural and peri-urban landowners, of which there are many within our local government area.

“We were reassured that the government’s pre-election pledge to fully fund Landcare in NSW will be fulfilled.
“This will enable us to now implement our plans for the next four years,” said Barry.

Commenting on the funding, Ms Moriarty said, “In partnership with Local Land Services, it will also allow for the improved delivery and expansion of local, on-ground projects, such as threatened species conservation, farm productivity, revegetation, waterway rehabilitation and help drive greater engagement with traditional First Nations values and practices.

“Importantly, economic modelling shows this record investment will generate $218 million in benefits for the economy of New South Wales, a return of nearly four times its value,” she said.


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