The Nationals landcare Labor Danny O'Brien Funding Environment salinity Pests Weeds pest weeds Volunteers Gippsland South

Labor leaves Landcare hanging by a thread

The Andrews Labor Government continues to string local Landcare volunteers along with ongoing delays to funding for its facilitator program.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has again called on the Labor Government to provide certainty to Landcare programs after it was revealed a new program won’t begin until the start of next year and yet an application process for funding has not even begun.

“Our local Landcare volunteers do a fantastic job of improving our local environment, revegetating areas of land, dealing with salinity, pest and weed problems and in the case of Gippsland even supporting seagrass restoration in Corner Inlet.

“It is nigh-on impossible for volunteers to do this work without the support of local Landcare facilitators who are part-funded by the state government.

“This funding ran out last year and was extended for a single year before being extended again for another six months. However, the Landcare program continues to hang by a thread with the government failing to take any action to give certainty to local Landcare groups.”

Mr O’Brien said the Labor Government appeared more focused on big picture, feel good environmental announcements than on actual practical outcomes on the ground.

“Every week I have people screaming about genuine land management problems such as weeds and other invasive species. Our farmers and Landcare volunteers are making their own improvements to our local environment every day.

“The total financial contribution from the state government to fund local Landcare facilitators is a pittance in the scheme of things and yet we can’t get any certainty from the government that it will be there for the long-term.

“I’m also very concerned that the government is seeking to water down the funding for Landcare and make it available to a range of other groups, including environmental activist groups and those not dedicated to on-the-ground works.

“If the Labor Government is serious about the environment there should be no question about funding for Landcare facilitators and the Government should get on with the job.”

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, is backing local Landcare groups.

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