E-News Issue 206
Funding  |  Biodiversity  |  Sustainable Agriculture  |  Aboriginal NRM  |  Sustainable Communities  |  Job Opportunities  |  Other News  |  Other Events  |  Donations 

Boost for Wheatbelt natural resources

Farmers, landcare groups and local councils are being encouraged to apply for part of a $9 million package to help care for the environment.

The Western Australia Government has released new money, funded through the Royalties for Regions programme, to go to groups that help volunteers do environmental work.

Wheatbelt NRM’s chief executive officer Natarsha Woods has welcomed the move and said work was already underway to make the most of it.

“Already we’ve identified the feral animal control program Red Card for Rabbit and Foxes that needs ongoing support,” Natarsha Woods said.

This year the eradication program, which engaged landholders in a coordinated campaign to control feral animals, has culled more than 4000 foxes, 200 cats and 2600 rabbits.

“Funding for this program has been under question, but now we could have an avenue to help safe guard its future,” Natarsha Woods said. READ MORE

Community Capability Grants

Groups can now apply for the Community Capability Grants, worth a total of $9.2 million over the next three years.

The Community Capability Grants support volunteers to improve their capability to undertake on-ground work and improve the governance and management performance of their community-based organisations.
  • Large projects – Closes:  18 January 2016 
    Grants between $10,000 to $ 1 million, with timeframe up to two and a half years.
  • Small projects – Closes:  30 May 2016*
    Grants up to $10,000, with timeframe up to 12 months.
    (*Subject to availability of funds. Allocated on first-come, first-served basis.)
All projects must be finalised by December 2018. Funding has not been approved by the State Government beyond this date.


Youth Scholarship opportunity to join

Wheatbelt NRM's Board

Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management is looking for the next generation of decision makers to gain hands-on experience in guiding the strategic direction of our organisation.
A $10,000 scholarship is being offered to a young leader under the age of 40 to join our Board of Directors. The scholarship will provide training and mentorship to help you gain the skills needed to contribute to as a Director and grow your leadership potential.
The process is simple. Just tell us why you would like to join the Wheatbelt NRM Board of Directors and submit your CV to apply.
The Wheatbelt NRM Board of Directors meet six times a year and members are compensated for travel and sitting time.
To apply visit or contact Tyanna Jankauskas on 9670 3100 to find out more.

Applications close Monday 21st December 2015.

Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants 2015-16

The Australian Government has put out a call for applications from the community for the Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants.

Grants range between $5500 and $55,000 (GST inclusive) are available to increase industry capacity and support the adoption of productive management practices. 

Wheatbelt NRM’s Regional Landcare Facilitator, Leigh Whisson, is available to assist interested community groups and individuals in applying for this grant. He can also help groups develop their project ideas and decipher the grant guidelines.

Wheatbelt NRM can assist unincoporated groups in applying for the grant by sponsoring their application (see Guidelines, 6.0 Who is Eligible to Apply for Funding). Wheatbelt NRM may also be able to provide in-kind assistance by partnering in workshops and other events.

If you are considering applying for this funding, contact Leigh Whisson on (08) 9670 3136 or via

Closes:   Monday 7 December 2015, 2.00pm (AEDT) / 11.00am (WST)


Other Funding

Australian Geographic Sponsorship – Up to $15,000 in four categories: science, environment, adventure, community. Closes: 30 November 2015 HERE

Norman Wettenhall Foundation Small Environmental Grant Scheme –
Up to $10,000 for biodiversity conservation. Opens: December 2015 HERE

Grower Group R&D Grants Program
– Funding for WA’s agrifood businesses to grow their share and value in international markets. Closes: 2 December 2015 HERE

Australian Institute of Management: Not for Profit Scholarship â€“ Training up to $4,000 for participation in AIM’s Open Programs. Closes: 5 December 2016. HERE

Volunteer Grants 2015 –
Federal funding up to $5000 to help community organisations with equipment, fuel and training.  Closes: 9 December 2015. HERE

Ian Potter Foundation Environment & Conservation grants – For preservation of biodiversity and sustainability.  Closes: 11 December 2015 HERE

Community Gardens Grants
– Funding up to $20,000 for new gardens and up to $10,000 for existing gardens available. Closes: 17 December 2015. HERE

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

Regional Events Scheme
– Funding  of $5000 to $50,000 to develop smaller, regional events in WA. Closes: 1 February 2016 HERE

The Horizon Scholarship –
Scholarship up to $5000 for Agriculture students and future leaders. Closes: 19 February 2016. HERE

National Industry Scholarship –
Initiative supporting development of emerging and established women leaders. HERE

Lotterywest Trails Grants – For trail planning, trail construction, trail upgrades, promotion and marketing. HERE

Seedlings for the future – leading by example

Wheatbelt NRM has just ordered over 400,000 seedlings from local nurseries – 100,000 more than last year! – for planting by landholders at 52 sites across the Wheatbelt next year.

If you’re interested in planning biodiverse revegetation activities for 2017, consider our upcoming round of Bushcare Grants that will be announced in a few weeks. You can also contact Rachael Major to be placed on the ‘Expression of Interest’ list.

If you can’t wait that long and you’re keen to buy your own seedlings and get planting in 2016, then place your seedlings orders over the next couple of weeks to ensure you get the species you want.

Contact:  Rachael Major  |  (08) 9670 3119  |

Spring feral control

Wheatbelt NRM has help for landholders to protect native animals from feral animals on their properties, by conserving remnant bushland. Check our website for more information on baiting, trapping and shooting feral foxes.
Contact: Anika Dent  |  |  (08) 9670 3100

Mortlock Connections

Wheatbelt NRM has funding to help landowners in the Mortlock Catchment to protect or connect remnant vegetation on or near their properties.
  • feral animal control
  • biodiverse revegetation
  • environmental weed control
  • fencing of remnant vegetation & revegetation areas.
Read more HERE and HERE

Contact:   Anika Dent  |  |  (08) 9670 3104
Sustainable Agriculture

Grants help keep Wheatbelt farmers sustainable

One of the Wheatbelt’s newest farming groups has secured funding to try and improve the way soil acidity is tackled throughout the Wheatbelt.

The Merredin and Districts Farm Improvement Group is one of 22 local groups and landholders to share in more than $185,000 of new grants announced recently as part of the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

Wheatbelt NRM will coordinate the trials, including the use of summer cover crops, comparing tillage practices and reclaiming poor cropping areas using forage shrubs.  MORE

Perennials for Profit supported by
National Landcare Programme

Wheatbelt NRM has also recently announced its first round of the ‘Perennials for Profit’ projects as part of the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

These projects will assist the widespread adoption of palatable shrubs for livestock grazing and/or sandalwood plantations to diversify farm income and improve the condition of soil, water and biodiversity in the Wheatbelt. The funding will support the establishment of eleven forage shrub or sandalwood demonstration sites by local farmers across the region. MORE

Trials & Demonstrations Update

Soil Health Improvements in Established Perennial Forage Sites

Dr Fiona Brayshaw from the Sustainable Agriculture team has been busy out at Darren West’s farm in Jennacubbine, setting up weather stations and sampling soils to better understand the value of forage shrubs in Wheatbelt farming.

The trial aims to ascertain the environmental changes that occur in and around established forage shrubs, including shade, ambient temperature, soil temperature, wind, soil moisture, pH and salinity. It will do this by comparing soils and microclimates under established forage shrubs and in exposed inter-rows to a standard cropping paddock, and by collecting hourly data via the weather station.

The two year trial is a joint project between Wheatbelt NRM, Curtin University, Greening Australia and involves Dr Fiona Brayshaw, Dr Sarita Bennett, Dr Sue Low, Dave Collins and landholder Darren West.

Read about about the trial HERE
Are you a farmer in the central Wheatbelt?
Do you have forage shrubs in your farming system?

We’d like you to take part in our survey on the impact of forage shrubs in Wheatbelt farming systems!

We want to find out:
  • why farmers choose to use forage shrubs
  • how they use forage shrubs
  • the impact forage shrubs can have on degraded land.
By knowing the needs and issues that farmers and industry face, we’ll be able to work towards improving the integration of forage shrubs on Wheatbelt farms.

Survey results will benefit the farming community too, providing insights into what the barriers are to developing sustainable farming environments. Results will be publicised through Wheatbelt NRM in 2016.
Dr Guy Boggs
0434 976 124

Read more

Complete the Survey online

Wheatbelt NRM Agroforestry Biodiversity Monitoring Report

Snap shot study of biodiversity outcomes at production and non-production based revegetation sites across the Wheatbelt. The 30 study sites are located around Northam, Wongan Hills, Narembeen, Brookton and Mukinbudin.

View the Report
More about Biodiverse Agroforestry
The second Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) auction was recently held by the Clean Energy Regulator.
  • 129 contracts were awarded  (committing to purchase 45,451,010 tonnes of abatement)
  • 77 contractors were awarded contracts
  • (131 projects)
  • $556,875,549 was the total value of contracts awarded
  • $12.25 was the average price per tonne of abatement
  • 2.5 million tonnes of abatement was the largest single contract
  • 15,333 tonnes of abatement was the smallest single contract.
The price stayed higher than expected with lots of vegetation projects getting contracts. An LED lighting project from Wesfarmers also took part, indicating that the commercial industry is now also becoming involved.

While there are 47 projects from WA registered in the ERF, none of them appeared to be successful in this round despite early successes in the first auction.

The Clean Energy Regulator is now nearly halfway through its budget for purchasing abatement.

Read more about the Carbon Abatement Contracts and Auction Results.
Aboriginal NRM

Aboriginal NRM – Bush Tucker Project

Earthworks have begun on the Bush Tucker Garden at Northam Senior High School, removing couch grass and preparing the ground for mulching.

The garden will be developed as a six seasons garden, with plants chosen so their flowering or fruiting coincide with the traditional Noongar seasons of Bunuru, Djeran, Makuru, Djilba, Kambarang and Birak.

Plants being considered include: Gumug (Australian Bluebell), Mangard (Blueberry Lily), Mooja (Christmas Tree), Bain (Coastal Pigface), Koolah (Emu Plum), Janda (Harsh Hakea) and Dumbari (Quandong).

Karda/Garda / Bungarra / Manar/Maanar

Gould’s Monitor / Gould’s Goanna / Sand Monitor  (Varanus gouldii)

“That’s a big karda. He’s like a big goanna. See the brighter colours, spots? He’s the one they eat, that. Gut him there [on the side of his chest] poke wire in up through him and some wire around. I’ve seen a whitefella do it, he could do it better than I. True.

See you’ve gotta do it there, otherwise you play with them, you get big gales and that. I said to my sister, ‘Don’t play with that, it’s wara. No good’. When you gonna kill one for us there, took about an hour, running around, and that night it blew. It blow down trees. Dinky di.” – Don Collard

They can grow up to 1.6 metres long and males can weigh seven kilograms. They eat reptiles, insects, small mammals, and carrion and can be eaten by foxes when young. They are day-active and burrow under slabs of rock, hollow logs or dense litter. They can raise themselves by their hind legs and tail. They lay eggs in a burrow to incubate.

The Yamatji Aboriginal word Bungarra is sometimes used for this goanna. Manar/maanar has been recorded as a Noongar word for it. Karda/garda, often used for goannas in general, is a Noongar word for the Black-headed Monitor / Varanus tristis.

Excerpt from Boodjin Rock Storybook, p23.
Photo courtesy of Tamara Wilkes-Jones.
Sustainable Communities

Regional Wellbeing Survey

Have you taken part in the Regional Wellbeing Survey this year?

The Regional Wellbeing Survey aims to support research that improves the wellbeing and quality of life of people living in rural and regional Australia. To achieve this, we need to hear the views of all people living in rural and regional Australia.
Everyone aged 18 or over who takes part in the survey can enter the draw to win one of 16 prizes worth a total of $7,000.

Complete the survey online at
Or call 1800 981 499 to have a paper survey posted out to you.

View last year’s survey results HERE
Job Opportunities

Expression of Interest
– NRM Information Collation
& Copywriting

2 month position, 2 days per week
Northam, WA
Wheatbelt NRM is seeking a person with skills in research, content creation, copywriting and editing for a casual position helping build a Natural Resource Management Sites Mobile Application of past projects and environmental sites in the Wheatbelt. The successful applicant will require an ABN and issue invoices for service.

Submit your expressions of interest to Chris David, Project Manager Marketing and Communications, via with a current CV and covering letter addressing the required skills, and quoted hourly fee for service. Or contact him for more details on (08) 9670 3107.

Submissions close:  Thursday 10 December 2015
Other News

Cockatoo research soars to new heights

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos are being fitted with satellite transmitters to follow the movement of rescued bird once they are released into the wild. HERE and HERE

Australian groundwater information

The Bureau of Meteorology has nationally consistent groundwater data and information products to inform decision-making and research about groundwater resources. MORE

Wheatbelt grain producer joins GRDC

Merredin farmer Julie Alvaro has joined GRDC western regional panel. MORE

Greenhouse vegies in Wheatbelt

Unproductive paddocks could become home to greenhouses full of growing vegies in a bid to save a Wheatbelt town. MORE
Other Events
Low Stress Stock Handling Course
7-8 December 2015, Narrogin.  |  10-11 December 2015, Northam. HERE

2016 GRDC Grains Research Updates, 29 Jan – 1 Feb 2016, Perth. HERE

NACC ‘Sustainable Agriculture in a Changing Climate’ Forum
10 February 2016, Coorow. HERE

2016 GRDC Farm Business Update,
10 February 2016, Narrogin. HERE Dalwallinu, 11 February 2016. HERE

Liebe Group: Trials Review Day, 16 February 2016, Dalwallinu. HERE

WAFarmers Annual Conference, 18-19 February 2016, Perth. HERE

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