E-News Issue 210
Events  |   Funding  |  NRM Dashboard Spotlight  |  Biodiversity  |  Sustainable Agriculture  |  Aboriginal NRM  |  Sustainable Communities  |  Water  |  Science  |  Other News  |  Other Events  |  Donations 

Landholders asked to check twice on Wheatbelt Woodlands

Wheatbelt landholders should think twice before clearing vegetation on their property, despite having state government approval.

This follows last December’s listing of the WA Wheatbelt Woodlands as critically endangered under the Australian Government’s national environment law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

The Wheatbelt Woodlands occur between the Darling Range and the western edge of the Goldfields, where more than 85 percent of this vegetation has already been cleared.

The listing refers to approximately 30 species of eucalypt, which may be found in woodlands including salmon and york gums, gimlet, mallets, morel and wandoo trees.

Wheatbelt NRM’s CEO Natarsha Woods said the decision could affect landholders wanting to clear land to build roads or new fences or introduce cropping to uncleared areas.

“These are examples of farm activity, which could have a significant impact on the newly listed ecological community,” Natarsha Woods said.

Read more

Our future is in your hands

Wheatbelt NRM are a not-for-profit, non-government organisation who provide FREE workshops and events to the Wheatbelt community, thanks mainly to funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

However, our funding is limited and prone to fluctuation.

Over the last three years, over 3500 community members have participated in events, trials and conservation activities with the support of Wheatbelt NRM.

If you are a community member you has attended one of these free events and feel you have gained something valuable from it, please consider donating to Wheatbelt NRM.

By supporting us you are helping us continue our valuable work with the community, for the Wheatbelt environment.

All donations that are over $2.00 are tax deductible.

Donations can be accepted online, or in person at our Northam office or events.

Thanks! We really appreciate your support.
Find out how you can help carry out the annual survey of Black-Cockatoo numbers across WA to gain a better understanding of these unique and endangered species.

Join us for a FREE workshop on ID, behaviour and ecology of these amazing  cockatoos and find out how to count them on the big day.

When: Wednesday 9 March 2016, 5.30pm - 7.00pm
Where: Bridgeley Centre, 91/93 Wellington St, Northam
Free with light refreshments provided

RSVP: Leigh Whisson  |  ph: (08) 9670 3136  |
Healthy bushland is a valuable farm asset that can be managed to benefit both biodiversity and land productivity.

And to help you do this, we'll be running a series of FREE WORKSHOPS in February and March next year, covering:
  • major factors affecting bushland health and biodiversity in the Wheatbelt
  • how improving bushland health benefits both landholders and community
  • management options for boosting environmental biodiversity & your property’s sustainability
  • plus, information on applying for our Bushcare Grants.
Narembeen – 24 Feb 2016, Narembeen Rec Centre
Northam – 9 Mar 2016, Bridgeley Centre
Brookton – 12 Mar 2016, Brookton WB Eva Pavillion

Register your interest now!
Contact Terri Jones   |  (08) 9670 3122  |    |    Download the FLYER

Make Money from your Margins

Forage systems can be planted on marginal cropping land to create grazing production and sequester carbon!

Improve your understanding of forage systems, grazing management, and how to incorporate carbon sequestration, all at our half day workshop.

Guest speakers:

Dr Peter Ritson – FarmWoods, David Collins – Greening Australia, Trevor Bond – Quairading farmer

When: Tuesday 22 March 2016, Time: 9am – 12pm
Where: Trevor Bond’s farm Bond Road, Quairading
For more information, contact:
Jo Wheeler, ph: 9670-3121,
Fiona Brayshaw, ph: 9670-3110,

Download the FLYER

Nutrition – Compaction – Rotations

Carbon farming for profitability & soil health

This free workshop is forms part of WANTFA’s Carbon Farming Extension and Outreach project and presents information on crop nutrition, controlled traffic farming and cropping rotation, as well as a field trip out to Nick Kelly’s farm in Newdegate. Plus, come and chat about carbon farming with Jo Wheeler from WANTFA at the kitchen table!
Guest speakers:
Liam Ryan (DAFWA), Glenn McDonald (DAFWA), Phil Ward (CSIRO), Roger Lawes (CSIRO), Matt McNee (WANTFA) and Ken Bailey.

When: Tuesday 8 March 2016   Time:  9am-5pm
Where:  Newdegate CRC, 1 Collier Street, Newdegate

Contact:  Jo Wheeler  |  (08) 9670 -3121  |

Download the FLYER

Funding for participation in
Red Card for Rabbits & Foxes

Applications are invited from community groups and public organisations for grants up to $750 for activities that aim to:
  • improve participation in the Red Card for Rabbits and Foxes program
  • support land holders participating in Red Card program
  • support community engagement activities centred on the Red Card program
  • activities must take place in the Avon River Basin.
Contact:  Anika Dent  |  ph: (08) 9670 3104  |
Find out more   |   Download Application Form

Closes:  Tuesday 1 March 2016
Wheatbelt NRM can help you and your community to protect important bushland in your area!

Individuals, community groups and groups of neighbours may be eligible for Bushcare Grants up to $15,000, to help cover costs for the materials required for:
  • feral animal control
  • bushland weed control
  • fencing
  • biodiverse revegetation
Contact:  Rachael Major | (08) 9670 3100 |  |  FLYER

Applications close: 1 April 2016

Funding available to rejuvenate
Mortlock bushland

Wheatbelt NRM can provide funding for landholders in the Mortlock to protect or connect remnant vegetation on or near their properties through:

  • feral animal control
  • biodiverse revegetation
  • environmental weed control
  • fencing of remnant vegetation and revegetation areas.

*All project activities are agreed upon through a negotiation process taking into account your farm management plans and the benefits to biodiversity.

How to apply  |  Find out more

Contact:  Anika Dent  |  (08) 9670 3104  | 

Other Funding

National Stronger Regions Fund – Grants from $20,000 to $10 million, for local governments and incorporated not-for-profit organisations to deliver capital projects with economic benefit to the region. HERE

Wheatbelt Regional Grants Scheme – Grants from $50,000 to $300,000, for larger projects to boost investment, job opportunities and quality of life in regional areas. Closes: 17 March 2016. HERE

Wheatbelt Community Chest Fund – Grants up to $50,000 for smaller, local projects. Closes: 17 March 2016. HERE

Small Grants for Rural Communities  â€“ Grants up to $5,000 for projects and activities benefiting rural, regional or remote communities. HERE

Community Capability Grants – Small Projects – For organisations to improve volunteer capability and organisational governance. Grants up to $10,000. Closes: 30 May 2016. HERE
NRM Dashboard Spotlight

Land & Water Salinisation

Widespread clearing and agricultural production based on shallow-rooted crops has resulted in rising groundwater and the salinisation of soils and water systems.

At present, 6% of the Avon River Catchment is classified as saline and mostly unproductive.

We have estimated that if 10% of the catchment becomes saline, the system will undergo a change which will significantly impact the environmental, social and economic resource base, from which it will be difficult to return.

It has been predicted that at equilibrium the landscape would be 30% saline. This will severely impact people, plants and animals living in those areas.

It is not known if or when this equilibrium might be reached and climate will largely influence this trend.

View the Wheatbelt NRM Dashboard
Data source: Landgate, WA

Co-ordinated Predator Control

These two endangered Black-flanked Rock-wallabies are directly benefiting from predator control being carried out in the central Wheatbelt.

The joey and his mum were captured by sensor cameras on a granite rock outcrop south of Kellerberrin earlier this year.

Seventy-three feral cats have been caught since Wheatbelt NRM began the predator control in May 2015, along with 123 feral foxes and many rabbits.

Read more about feral animal control HERE
Sustainable Agriculture

Productive Farming Futures Forum

NACC recently hosted the ‘Productive Farming Futures Forum’ on climate change in the Wheatbelt, with presentations and discussions around successful farm diversification, climate trends, improving farm profitability, biosecurity, carbon opportunities, macro-invertebrates in broad-acre cropping, adapting horticultural operations, and big visions for a sustainable and viable Wheatbelt landscape.

The following were cited by the assembled panel of experts as major opportunities to be embraced in a changing Wheatbelt climate:
  • using sheep within an integrated farming system – Lucy Anderton
  • developing and testing new ideas – David Bowran
  • finding value and multiple benefits in modified farming systems – Dean Revell
  • sharing weather observations and improving seasonal forecasting – Glenn Cook
  • educating the next generation on soil health – Major General M. Jefferies
  • rewarding farmers for restoring landscape health on behalf of all Australians – Major General M. Jefferies.
WANTFA recently conducted an online webinar with UWA's Dr Ken Flower about carbon farming in Western Australia.

Watch the webinar online here
Aboriginal NRM

Respect for fire

“I lived with fire all of my life. Even when I was a little fella, they had the fires going, campfires. And then they used to burn the bush. Those people knew what to do and when to do it. I was only a little tacker, I used to tag along and have a look and listen to what they were talking about.”

“Fire’s the thing that we respect and we knew how to control it. When we burnt we knew the conditions were right to burn. It’s probably the spirits there that are telling us if we’re right or wrong.”

Recollections from Kevan Davis

[Excerpt from ‘Keeping the Campfires Burning’ 2016 Calendar, May/Djeran]
Sustainable Communities

2015 Community Survey

Since 2006, Wheatbelt NRM has conducted five community surveys, wtih the aim to:
  • monitor attitude and behaviour change
  • assess the community’s current environmental priorities
  • help us build and maintain a strong relationship with our community.
In the 2015 Community Survey, respondents discussed their top environmental concerns, listed activities undertaken to help the environment, noted where they sourced information on environmental and natural resource issues, and revealed memberships they have with environmental groups.

The survey also looked at farming and land management practices and the general perception of Wheatbelt NRM and its NRM Regional Strategy.

Read the 2015 Community Survey results

WWF Australia â€“ 35 years in WA!

WWF Australia recently celebrated 35 years of working in Western Australia – the world's most ancient land. This 10 minute film features various ecosystems from WA and introduces the partners that WWF Australia are working to conserve these areas.

Wheatbelt NRM’s CEO Natarsha Woods can be seen from 5:10 onwards.

Get your tissues ready – this film is sure to stir up some emotions!

Watch the film here

Stormwater Reuse Project Report

Do you enjoy green ovals in summer?

How can winter rainfall can help?

The Stormwater Reuse Project was designed to help local governments in the Wheatbelt reduce the pressure on, and meet the shortfalls in, demand for non-potable water.

It did this by improving the capture, storage and distribution of stormwater runoff in various town sties.

Read the final report here

Wheatbelt Science Hub launched

The Wheatbelt now has a regional Science Hub, as part of Inspiring Australia which aims to create a more scientifically engaged Australia.

The Wheatbelt Science Hub is all about inspiring the discovery and excitement of science amongst the community, by developing partnerships, participating in events, and promoting the work of science professionals and organisations throughout the region.

They recently hosted ‘Scitech in Northam’ during the school holidays, attracting over 800 people who engaged with a range of interactive exhibits including virtual reality headsets and a space suit!

Wheatbelt NRM is proud to be amongst the joint partners of the Wheatbelt Science Hub.

Wheatbelt Science Hub website   |   Wheatbelt Science Hub facebook
Other News
WA releases draft plan to reduce impact of wild dogs on livestock industry

Local farmers to benefit from revitalised rabbit control method

Farm deposit changes welcome news for WA farmers

Birds can spread wildfires, research suggests

Bureau of Meteorology’s â€“ 2015 climate statement

Bureau of Meteorology's â€“ NEW 'Weather Observations Website'

Heatwave puts water supplies under pressure

Wheatbelt communities get moving with ActiveSmart

RDA Wheatbelt – ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ Survey
Other Events
Liebe Group Crop Updates, 2 March 2016, Dalwallinu. HERE

Seed Storage Strategies Workshop, 2 March 2016, Dalwallinu. HERE

Better fertiliser decisions for cropping systems training workshop,
3 March 2016, Perth. HERE

Nutrition – Compaction – Rotations: Carbon farming for profitability & soil health, 8 March, Newdegate HERE  |  24 March 2016, Cranbrook HERE

Great Cocky Count, 9 March 2016, Northam. HERE

GRDC Grains Research Updates, 9 March 2016, Merredin. HERE

WACOSS Webinar: High Performing Boards, 9 March 2016, Webinar. HERE

Facey Group Trials Presentation Evening, 10 March 2016, Wickepin. HERE

WANTFA Crop updates, 11 March 2016, Cunderdin. HERE

Attracting & Retaining Volunteers workshop, 12 March 2016, Perth. HERE

National Seed Science Forum 2016  |  14-16 March 2016, Mt Annan, NSW. HERE

Corrigin Farm Improvement Group Trials Update, 16 March 2016, Corrigin. HERE

Answers & Actions for Healthy Soil in a WA Climate, 21 March 2016, York. HERE

Soil Water Interpretation & Tools Workshop,
22 March 2016, Merredin. HERE  |  23 March 2016, Moorine Rock. HERE

WAFarmers Sheep Health Workshop, 22 March 2016, Wickepin. HERE

WACOSS Webinar: Foundations in Governance, 24 March 2016, Webinar. HERE

West Midlands Group V&V Walsh Tour, 30-31 March 2016, Dowerin. HERE

Rural Roots to City Suits – AgConnectWA, 31 March 2016, Perth. HERE
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