The Nationals Environment Funding Danny O'Brien Red tape landcare

More uncertainty, more red tape for Landcare groups

Gippsland Landcare groups will be forced to wade through more red tape and continued funding uncertainty after the Victorian Government extended funding for just six more months.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has been campaigning for continued funding for Landcare facilitators, which expires on June 30.

The government has quietly extended funding for another six months but will force Victoria’s 78 Landcare groups that employ a facilitator to reapply for funding beyond December 31.

“Landcare facilitators help coordinate all the important on-ground environmental work that Landcare delivers in Victoria,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Our Gippsland facilitators have done a fantastic job in their respective areas, helping coordinate tree planting, erosion control, weed management and even work on replanting Corner Inlet seagrass.

“The government’s decision to give just a six-month extension for Landcare facilitators and then force the programs to apply again for funding is ridiculous.

“This program has demonstrated its ability to deliver real environmental outcomes and without the facilitators, much of that would be lost.

“Instead of delivering a genuine on-the-ground outcome by continuing to fund facilitators, the government seems determined to add more red tape and put these part-time facilitators through a growing tangle of bureaucracy.

“The Government’s review of the program talks a lot about ‘monitoring’, ‘reporting’ and ‘alternative models’, but barely mentions putting trees in the ground or delivering actual environmental works.

“The part-time facilitators and the volunteers who run local Landcare groups don’t want to see more red tape. They just want a government that supports them.”

Mr O’Brien said it was extraordinary that this government, which spends billions of dollars of city infrastructure projects and millions on environmental gesture politics would fail to fund a program that actually delivers work on the ground for our environment.

“The fact that this was snuck out in a Facebook post by the Minister on a Friday shows the government is embarrassed by its own lack of support for Landcare.

“The Premier, Daniel Andrews, should be intervening to ensure that the true environmentalists can continue their work with the support of the hard-working facilitators across the region.”

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