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E-News Issue 169

2014/15 Budget implications for NRM
 

The Government’s 2014/15 budget brought significant expenditure reductions across many programs and Natural Resource Management (NRM) programs did not escape these reductions.Below is a snapshot of the implicatons for NRM from last weeks 2014/15 Federal budget:
  • Reduced funding for natural resource management programs from $2.1 billion over 5 years ($420 million per year) to $1.240 billion over 4 years  ($310 million per year) – approximately 26% reduction in funding;
  • New projects totalling $124 million were included in the allocation, putting pressure on the remaining reduced funding
  • It is assumed that the Government will honour commitments made in various funding Guidelines issued in 2013/14. If that is correct, the Sustainable Environment Stream and Sustainable Agriculture Stream balances out to $173.5 million available to the National Landcare Program over the next 4 years
  • Reduced funding for regional delivery, community environment and landcare grants is expected as the Government proceeds with designing the new National Landcare Program; 
The budget contains a number of new initiatives such as the Green Army. And while the Government is still working on the details of this program, it is clear that the Green Army is about providing training opportunities for young people. The Green Army may assist with delivering NRM outcomes in some instances, however it does not replace the wide suite of work with farmers, pastoralists, Indigenous groups and volunteers that is fundamental to the National Landcare Program, and to a strategic landscape approach.The types of activities that can be undertaken by the Green Army will also be limited in comparison to the work required to be done. NRM and landcare now use a sophisticated suite of delivery mechanisms to identify cost sharing based on public benefit of those works. Various reviews illustrate that farmers spend $3 to $5 for every $1 invested by government in adopting best practice and this reflects the split between public and private benefits arising from those activities. 

While these new budget measures will impact on NRM investment in the Wheatbelt we are committed to securing the best possible environmental outcomes for our region. Wheatbelt NRM will continue working on our communities behalf to effectively respond to National, State and regional NRM needs and fosters productive relationship to support progress and investment for NRM in the Wheatbelt.

Kind Regards,

The Wheatbelt NRM Team
 
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Weeping grass


Microlaena stipoides
 
Weeping grass is a perennial grass that spreads from a rhizome underground. It is a tufted grass that is winter active but can be green all year round. It grows naturally throughout the south west land division.
 
This grass can tolerate highly acidic soils, has a high tolerance to drought and frost. It is also mildly salt tolerant and shade tolerant.
 
Weeping grass has a high grazing value, so would be a great addition to a mixed grazing system. For those who would like a native lawn this species is low maintenance once established and has minimal water requirements. Seed can be purchased from nativeseeds.com.au .
 
When looking around your backyard it is good to remember that some of those grasses maybe native and not weeds!

Red Card for Rabbits and Foxes:

Stockbrands Community Fox Shoot Weekends 2014.


The very successful 2014 Stockbrands Community Fox Shoot Weekends were held over 56 shires in the south-west of Western Australia.  In some localities there were two events, while others held one.
 
The first weekend was the 21st â€“23rd February (half moon), and the second weekend was 28th—30th March (new moon). 
 
There were 29 coordinated events on the February weekend, and 31 coordinated events in March
.
There were 9774 feral animals culled over both months—4538 foxes, 394 feral cats, 4842 rabbits!

For a more detailed write up and some cool maps, please see the Wheatbelt NRM Newsletter coming out soon, check out the Red Card website, or like the Facebook page
 

Wetter season more likely for western and southern WA


Bureau of Meteorology
  • A wetter than normal season is more likely for western and southern WA
  • Climate influences include a warming tropical Pacific, and a warm Indian Ocean
  • Outlook accuracy is moderate over western and southern parts of WA, with low accuracy in eastern parts of WA

Click here for more information

New Landcare Facilitator for Shire of Kent

 
Wheatbelt NRM welcomes to Paul Leoni, the new Landcare Facilitator at the Shire of Kent. Paul is very excited to be in the role and says he will endeavour to assist and facilitate the development of ‘Landcare/ Environmental’ needs and aspirations of all stakeholders within the Shire. He also looks forward to continuing advocacy for greater value of the environment. You can contact Paul on 9829 1051 or email lcdc@kent.wa.gov.au. We wish Paul all the best!
 
This position has been supported by Wheatbelt NRM with funding from the Western Australian Government's State NRM Office.
 
Funding

Hurry funding closes Monday for Community NRM Groups!

 

Wheatbelt NRM would like to assist your community group to run an event, field trip or group training activity. The activity should aim to increase the group’s skills and knowledge base to undertake NRM activities within the Avon Region.

 

Funding support of between $500 and $1000 is available and further support will be provided by the Regional Landcare Facilitator.

 

The event or activity will need to have been run before 30th of September 2014.

 

Applications close at 12.00pm on Monday the 26th of May, 2014

 

For further information visit our website or contact Leigh Whisson Wheatbelt NRM's Regional Landcare Facilitator on 9670 3100 or email lwhisson@wheatbeltnrm.org.au 

State NRM Program Community Grants .

Community groups can now apply for grants between $10 000 and $50 000 for activities that help conserve, restore, rehabilitate or enhance a local natural area or conserve biodiversity.

Grants are available for on-ground works, as well as planning, training, and resource assessment activities. 

Applications close 20th of June, 2014

For more information click here. 

 

Woolworths Agricultural Business Scholarship

This year Woolworths will offer 25 young Australians the opportunity to participate in their Agricultural Business Scholarship program.

Applications close 31st of May, 2014. 

For more information click here. 

 

Australian Rural Leaders Program: for established Leaders

The ARLP aims to produce a network of informed, capable and ethical leaders who are able to work collaboratively to advance the interests of their industries, businesses, communities and rural Australia in general.   

Applications close 29th of August, 2014.

For more information click here. 

 

Telstra Women's Business Awards

Nominations are now open for the 20th Telstra Business Women’s Awards. 

Applications open on the 26th of May 2014

Applications close on the 14th of July 2014

For more information click here. 

 

Heywire 2014

The Heywire competition is now open to people aged 16 - 22, to submit a story about life in Australia outside the major cities in any form of media: text, video, photography or audio.

Applications close 16th of September, 2014.

For more information click here

 

Upcoming Events

iLearn Workshop in Beverley

RDA Wheatbelt co-hosted by the Shire of Beverley, Beverley Community Resource Centre (CRC) and Wheatbelt NRM


A digital workshop to boost local business' online presence and impact. 

Friday, 13 June 2014 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM (AWST)
Beverley, WA

Click here to download the flyer

Click here for more information

Controlled traffic farming conference


August 26 – 29

CTF 2014 will present the expertise and experience of farmers, engineers and scientists from grain, vegetable and fodder industries across Australia. With a general theme around low rainfall zone farming, other important aspects of CTF will also be explored in interactive sessions with plenty of time for questions.

Click here for more information

Liebe Group Womens Field Day 

Date: 19th of June 2014
Location: Dalwallinu, Western Australia


The Women’s Field Day was created to build the management capacity of women to make a difference to their family, farm business and the agricultural industry.

For more information, click here. 

Perth Sheep Updates

Date: 30th of July 2014
Location: University of WA, Crawley.

The theme for the conference will be "Sheep genetics - getting the most benefit from your flock".

For more details, click here. 

National Landcare Conference

Date: 17-19th September 2014
Venue: Crown Conference Centre, Melbourne


This year’s National Landcare Conference promises to be an exciting celebration of 25 years of Landcare as a national program with a focus on the future and what this means for Landcare, with a program based on the theme – Celebrating our history – growing our future.

For more details, click here. 
Featured Publications

Soil Science Monitoring Manual


This On-Farm Soil Monitoring Handbook includes information about how to sample soil and roots and how to extract and count the dominant soil mesofauna (mites and springtails). It also offers suggestions for on-farm research activities such as investigating the effects of land management practices on the abundance and diversity of soil fauna and on the presence of mycorrhizal fungi inside roots. By following the soil monitoring suggestions in this Handbook, farmers have an opportunity to increase understanding of factors that influence the health of their soils.

Click here to download the manual

Agroforestry options for the Wheatbelt


This guide is for land managers, farmers and communities interested in agroforestry-based revegetation options that provide both natural resources and production-based outcomes for the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. The aim of this guide is to provide information, tips and tricks to successfully integrate agroforestry activities into existing Wheatbelt farming systems and advice on how to gain additional benefit for biodiversity outcomes from this form of on farm revegetation.

Click here to download the booklet

Pest Suppressive Landscapes fact sheet

GRDC

Native remnant vegetation can support beneficial predatory insects. Pest suppressive landscapes are those that have the right mix of habitats that support beneficial insects and allow them to move into crop fields, while discouraging the build-up of pest insect species.

Click here to download the fact sheet
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