E-News Issue 203
Events  |  Funding  |  Biodiversity  |  Sustainable Agriculture  |  Aboriginal NRM  |  Sustainable Communities  |  Staff Profiles  |  Job Opportunities  |  Other News  |  Other Events  |  Donations 

Planning ahead for the Wheatbelt environment

Monitoring the Wheatbelt environment and addressing its key resource issues are two key topics at this year’s annual general meeting, along with the launch of our new online ‘NRM Dashboard’ and our updated ‘3 Year Plan’.

Guest speakers will also include Malcolm French (Elders Real Estate) and Daniel Dadd (National Australia Bank), who will discuss how retaining items such as trees and investing in NRM activities on farms can boost value.

And community members will present on activities they are undertaking to improve the environment and how their work links to Wheatbelt NRM’s ‘3 Year Plan’.

What:    Wheatbelt NRM 2015 AGM
When:   Thursday 22 October, 10am - 1pm
Where:  Bridgeley Community Centre, 91-93 Wellington Street, Northam

RSVP:  by Monday 19 October 2015, HERE or by calling (08) 9670 3100.

This event is funded by the Australian Government through the National Landcare Programme.
Read more HERE

Download the FLYER


WA Threatened Species Forum

Inaugural forum focussing on the plight of threatened species in Western Australia and highlight the policies, strategies, on-ground actions and successes contributing to their conservation. Register HERE

A Pozible campaign is also being run to help make this a 'Waste Free Fourm'. Click HERE for more details.

EXTENDED TO: 2 November 2015

Wheatbelt NRM, Department of Parks and Wildlife and Perth Region NRM are offering funding to community groups and landholders for improved nutrient management. Projects in the Wheatbelt NRM region should be located in the Mortlock, Dale and Avon sub-catchments.

Up to $2,500 is available for projects that help landholders better understand their soil health and crop’s nutritional requirements by using targeted soil, water or plant testing.

Additional funding up to $7,500 is also available for fencing and/or revegetation of waterways for nutrient management.

Guidelines and application forms HERE

Mortlock Connections

Funding is available for landowners in the Mortlock Catchement to protect or connect remnant vegetation on or near their properties. Read more HERE and HERE

Contact: Anika Dent on (08) 9670 3104 or via


National Science Week 2016 Grants – Between $2000 and $25,000, for projects contributing to National Science Week in 2016. Closes: 23 October 2015. HERE

Bushfire Mitigation Grants – Up to $50,000 available to help communities reduce bushfire risk. Closes: 26 October 2015. HERE

Whole Kids Small Seeds Community Grants – Supporting grassroots organisations to improve children’s health and wellbeing. Closes: 31 December 2015. HERE

Bankwest Foundation Social Media Grants
– $10,000 scholarships available for not-for-profit organisations to develop their social media strategy for long-term impact. Closes: 29 October 2015. HERE

Become a Hotspot Hero
in the Battle for Biodiversity

Hotspot Heroes is a collaboration between Wheatbelt NRM and Enviro-Stories that involves local Wheatbelt school students in activities to help them learn about local biodiversity.

We are currently working with ten schools in our region, with students writing short stories about threatened species from their local area and exploring what can be done to save them from extinction. Students learn about environmental threats such as feral animals, weeds, habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and grazing of bushland by stock.

The Wheatbelt region is part of the Southwest Australia Ecoregion (SWAE) which is Australia’s only International Biodiversity Hotspot. It is home to a variety of unique flora and fauna which are under serious threat.

We hope you’ll join us in being Hotspot Heroes – taking action to help prevent our threatened plants and animals from fading into oblivion.

Read more HERE and HERE  |  Download the flyer HERE

Contact: Rachael Major on (08) 9670 3119 or via

Buy cage traps online

Wheatbelt NRM has cage traps available for sale to landholders to assist with feral animal control on their properties.

The trip plate fox traps are now available for purchase for $355 via our online shop HERE. They are suitable for trapping cats and foxes and are made in Perth. Trap dimensions are 450mm x 450mm x 1200mm.

Contact: Anika Dent on (08) 9670 3104 or via
Sustainable Agriculture

Trials & Demonstrations Update

Tree crops on saline land – Casuarina obesa with nitrogen fixing Frankia

Wheatbelt NRM is currently trialling Swamp Sheoak species (Casaurina obesa) on saline affected land near Goomalling to compare their growth rates with and without Frankia bacteria. Frankia is a nitrogen-fixing bacterium that lives in the soil and can improve the growth rates of the sheoak family via a special symbiotic relationship.

The trial will also assess how viable Casuarina obesa is as a commercial timber product on low production, saline affected land. Casuarina obesa is a relatively common tree native to the Wheatbelt that produces a beautiful harvestable timber which is harvestable within 30 to 50 years. In the intervening years, the trees are useful as windbreaks and shade for grazing stock.

The trial is being run with Avongro, who have also established a second trial site at Quairading using State NRM funding. The trial was featured at a recent field day and AGM organised by the Australian Forest Growers.

Pictured above is the South West Agroforestry Network Field Day looking at a Casuarina obesa thinning trial.

Read more HERE

Talkin Soil Health videos online

Thanks to the South West Catchments Council, you can now watch clips of presentations from the Talkin Soil Health Conference online:

Dr Yvette Oliver, CSIRO - improved management of soil acidity
Professor Lyn Abbott, UWA - soil biology amendments
Dr Peter Keating, Bioscience - understand soil ecology
Peter Newman, Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative - manage weeds sustainably
Sam Taylor, agVivo - maintain and improve soil health 
Dr Margaret Roper, CSIRO - soil water repellency
Aboriginal NRM

Boodjin Rock story lives on

The history and significance of one Wheatbelt granite rock will forever be preserved thanks to the publication of a book.

More than 70 Aboriginal and community members from the Pingelly and Brookton shires have celebrated its publication at a ceremony at Boyagin Rock.

The rock, also known as Boodjin Rock, is sacred for Aboriginal people and has environmental significance as it is home to a number of rare plants and animals.

The rock sits in the Boyagin Nature Reserve, 10 kilometres south west of Brookton in the Pingelly shire.

Wheatbelt NRM recognises the importance of the sacred site and has been helping record stories from the Noongar Elders.

Wheatbelt NRM’s Aboriginal NRM project delivery officer Kerry Collard said the book now played an important part in the preservation of those stories.

Read more HERE

Kep / water

“Wherever you get a rock that stands out like that, it doesn’t matter where it is, you’ll always have water. That’s something that Noongar people [know], and Aboriginal people right across the board, doesn’t matter where they come from, they’ll always head for a rock in the middle of nowhere.

The rock was like a gathering place for water. At the bottom of those crevices you’d always find fresh water. Mum would… take us bush and she’d always say if there’s no gnamma holes there, or where the water had been running down from the gnamma holes, at the foot of that rock you’ll always find it is soft and you dig around there, you’ll find water.” – Janet Hayden

Excerpt from Boodjin Rock Storybook, p17.
Carpet Python photo credit - Tamara Wilkes-Jones
Sustainable Communities

2015 Western Australian Landcare Awards

Nine of the state's most impressive environmental achievements have been recognised at the 2015 Western Australian Landcare Awards, with the winners representing the diverse work of the Landcare movement.

The awards celebrate individual and community volunteer projects that have made significant contributions to the environment in local communities around WA, with activities ranging from sustainable farming practices to rehabilitation of coastal sites. Read more HERE

2015 winners:

Jill Richardson
– Australian Government Landcare Facilitator or Coordinator Award

Rhonda Williams
Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award

Southampton Homestead
Australian Government Innovation in Sustainable Farm Practices Award

South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare 
– Australian Government Partnerships with Landcare Award

West Coastcare – Coastcare Award

Ella Maesepp – Manpower Young Landcare Leader Award

Esperance Senior High School Bush Rangers Cadets 
Junior Landcare Team Award

Woolkabunning Kiaka Inc.
Indigenous Land Corporation Indigenous Land Management Award

Blackwood Basin Group
Fairfax Landcare Community Group Award
Staff Profiles
Kathryn Horrocks
returns to Wheatbelt NRM from maternity leave, as Geographic Information System (GIS) Officer where she manages spatial data for our projects and activities. Kathryn has over 11 years of experience in spatial data, including land surveying, drafting, geodetic infrastructure management, spatial data management, and remote sensing. Before moving to WA, her work had taken her to the Northern Territory, Victoria and Tasmania.
Job Opportunities

Coastal & Marine Project Officer

Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) is seeking a motivated person to join the Coastal and Marine team for a 12 month period based in Jurien Bay, Western Australia.

This role will work with coastal communities, managers and Indigenous custodians to better manage and maintain the coastal environment.
Applicants are encouraged to apply online by clicking the job description link below. Alternatively a paper version of the application form and job description is available from the NACC office.

For more information, contact Coastal and Marine Project Coordinator Dr Mic Payne on 9938 0123 or email

'Job description' HERE   |   'How to apply' HERE

Applications close:
  Friday 30 October 2015
Other News

Teaching kids about good food

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation (SAKGF) provides practical advice, information and ideas to help your school take the first steps towards delivering pleasurable food education. Read more HERE and  HERE

Rates could help fund wild dog controls

Shire rate funding could assist the eastern Wheatbelt community in its efforts to control wild dogs, according to the Eastern Wheatbelt Biosecurity Group (EWBG). Read MORE from Farm Weekly.

Feral cat control

Feral cats have the body shape, acute senses and fine coordination perfectly suited for stalking and capturing prey. They have adapted to some of Australia’s harshest conditions and invade almost all parts of the continent. Learn more HERE

Feeding a hungry nation

The price, quality and seasonality of Australia’s food is increasingly being affected by climate change with Australia’s future food security under threat, according to a new report from The Climate Council. Read more HERE

Global Geoparks

Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international significance are managed using protection, education and sustainable development. HERE
Other Events
Aussie Backyard Bird Count  |  19-25 October 2015. HERE

Setting your Header up for Harvest Weed Seed Control
20 October 2015, Online Webinar. HERE

AgInnovate - Money Making Mums Webinar

20 October 2015, Online Webinar. HERE

Being An Effective Farm Board Chair Workshop

20 October 2015, Perth. HERE

WIFE Annual Seminar
  |  21 October 2015, Varley. HERE

Wheatbelt NRM 2015 AGM  |  22 October 2015, Northam. HERE

Making More from Sheep
  |  22 October 2015, Online Webinar. HERE

WA College of Agriculture Open Day
  |   24 October 2015, Narrogin. HERE

Acid Sulfate Soils: Identification, Assessment & Management
27-28 October 2015, Perth. HERE

Avongro 2015 Annual General Meeting  |  30 October 2015, Northam. HERE

WA Threatened Species Forum
  |  30-31 October 2015, Geraldton. HERE

Fire Resilience Expo  |  31 October 2015, Toodyay. HERE

Community Cleanup  |  1 November 2015, Toodyay. HERE

Biochar Forum  |  3 November 2015, Manjimup. HERE

2015 Australasia-Pacific Extension Network Conference
10-12 November 2015, Adelaide. HERE

2015 Australasian Wildlife Mangement Society Annual Conference
23-26 November 2015, Perth. HERE
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