E-News Issue 211
Events  |   Funding  |  NRM Dashboard Spotlight  |  Biodiversity  |  Sustainable Agriculture  |  Aboriginal NRM  |  Job Opportunity  |  Other News  |  Other Events  |  Donations 

Building homes for endangered Wheatbelt critters

Sheds across the Wheatbelt are rumbling to the sounds of woodwork and sweat as specialised nest boxes are being prepared for threatened species to shelter in.

There are 20 Men’s Sheds in the Wheatbelt – unique and inclusive places where blokes can work side by side on meaningful projects in a safe, friendly and welcoming environment.

Five of these sheds are now working with Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management to build nest boxes of various shapes and sizes that appeal to a mixture of native bird and mammal species.

Men’s Sheds taking part in the project so far include Beverley, Kondinin, Wongan Hills, Wyalkatchem and Goomalling.

Read more
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: Click here or contact Leigh Whisson  |  ph: (08) 9670 3136  |   |   Download the FLYER
Healthy bushland is a valuable farm asset that can be managed to benefit both biodiversity and land productivity.

We are running a series of FREE WORKSHOPS to help you do this, 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.
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.
When: Tuesday 22 March 2016, 9am – 12pm
Where: Trevor Bond’s farm, Bond Road, Quairading

Guest speakers:

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

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 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!

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

Guest speakers:

Liam Ryan (DAFWA), Glenn McDonald (DAFWA), Phil Ward (CSIRO), Roger Lawes (CSIRO), Matt McNee (WANTFA) and Ken Bailey.

Contact:  Jo Wheeler  |  (08) 9670 3121  |

Download the FLYER
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


Waste Authority – Community Grants Scheme – Supports small scale community projects that improve waste management in WA. Closes: 11 March 2016. HERE

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. Closes: 15 March 2016. 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

FRRR – Small Grants for Rural Communities – Grants up to $5,000 for projects and activities benefiting rural, regional or remote communities. Open to not-for-profit community organisations. Closes: 24 March 2016. HERE

Shire of Northam – Community Grants – Available to non-profit community organisations, sporting groups and schools that run projects or events that benefits the community. Sponsorships, scholarships, donations, prizes and other support also available. Closes: 15 April 2016. 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

Remnant Patch Size

The health of remnant vegetation patches directly contributes to overall ecosystem health.

Bigger patches of remnant vegetation are usually healthier and more likely to survive, with greater resistance to invasive species, increased biodiversity, and a better ability to manage and survive fire.

Currently, remnant vegetation patches in the Central Wheatbelt are only 6% of what they were before land clearing began.

Other areas in our region have similarly small percentages except for the largely untouched Great Western Woodlands.

  • 6% in the Central Wheatbelt
  • 6% in the Southern Wheatbelt
  • 9% in the Avon Arc
  • 13% in the Eastern Wheatbelt
  • 99% in the Great Western Woodlands
View the Wheatbelt NRM Dashboard
Data source: Department of Parks and Wildlife

Cage traps for loan to landholders

Wheatbelt NRM has cage traps available for loan to landholders and land managers in the Avon River Catchment.

Cage traps will be loaned under the assumption that they will be used to help protect remnant vegetation from feral cats and foxes for a minimum average of seven nights a fortnight. It is also expected that Wheatbelt NRM will be provided with ongoing monthly capture data.

Find out more

New team members

This European Red Fox and Brush Tailed Possum have recenlty joined Wheatbelt NRM. They will be used to show people how big foxes are compared to endangered native creatures and give them an idea of what our native fauna are facing. You are welcome to come and meet them at our office in Northam.

They are also looking for names – so send us your ideas!
Sustainable Agriculture

To graze or not to graze

You’ve just seen that the sheep have finished the paddock and they’re looking hungry. You think about those forage plants you put in last year... Can you graze them yet? Like most things... it depends.

If your plants look vigorous and have good healthy growth like on the left, then maybe you can. But only if there is other feed in the paddock, and only for a short time. If your forage plants are the only edible thing in sight, they may be grazed too hard and they will never recover.

If your plants are still struggling to get their roots down like on the right, then it would be better to save them for later. The plants will then have a better chance of survival and be able to sustain grazing for longer next year.

For more information on grazing forage shrubs, come to our Making Money from your Margins workshop on Quairading on Tuesday 22 March 2016.

Forage for the feed gap – getting high value feed from marginal land

2016 GRDC Research Updates

Wheatbelt NRM attended this year's GRDC Research Updates in Perth where they shared a display booth with WANTFA. The two days were packed with fantastic speakers showcasing their recent research and developments in the grains industry.
This year's theme centred around 'innovation' with some great examples on display including robots that can spray a paddock all by themselves. These robots are far smaller than conventional spray rigs and their lighter weight makes soil compaction less of an issue.
If you missed the Perth updates, keep an eye out for Regional updates in your area that are being held around WA in the next couple of weeks.

WA Tree Farmer of the Year Award

Applications are now open for WA Tree Farmer of the Year Award. For more information, contact Richard Moore on 0429 926 731 or via email on
Applications close: 30 June 2016   |   Guidelines
Aboriginal NRM

Walkabout Line

Through here, this was only just a pass through place for them [Noongars from long ago] when they walk about. That’s up at the Pear Tree up there. They used to come through Kalgoorlie, down to Merredin, and cut straight across, down through here, and straight across to Moora and Jurien Bay. That was their line, walkabout line. They only stop here for a night and they’re gone.


We had plenty of wildlife for feed, kangaroos and the old karda (goanna). We didn’t have far to go bush for yonga (kangaroo) and rabbits and old karda, porcupine [echidna] too, oh we got plenty of food alright. Used to take us kids (roo shooting). But a lot of time us kids used to be well at the back because we’d make too much noise. You know when you’re roo hunting you don’t make any noise cos he's a very clever animal the kangaroo. He’d hear a little stick crack, you wouldn’t get near him. He knows somethings around. We’d go, but we’d be well behind, coming along.

Recollections from Norm Dick

[Excerpt from ‘Keeping the Campfires Burning’ 2016 Calendar, October/Kambarang]
Job Opportunity

Aboriginal NRM Project Delivery Officer

Full time position, based in Northam
Contract to 30 June 2018
Wheatbelt NRM is seeking an Aboriginal NRM Project Delivery Officer to provide leadership in Aboriginal engagement in natural resource management in the Avon River Catchment.

This will include the engagement of community and delivery of on-ground projects that work with traditional owners, local community, farmers and government to build the capacity of the Aboriginal community in natural resource management.

An understanding of and the ability to engage with the Wheatbelt Aboriginal community is essential, as is experience in delivering projects with the Aboriginal community. Applicants of Aboriginal descent are encouraged to apply for this position.

For more information, please call Dr Elizabeth Kington on (08) 9670 3132, or email her via

Applications close: 25 March 2016, 5pm
Apply Online  |  Position Outcome Statement  |  Selection Criteria
Other News

New Australian climate developing – seasonal rainfall zones shift

Know which Aussie animal names have their origin in Aboriginal languages?

App for Estimating Soil-Water in Fallows and Crops

Value of Australian agricultural production tipped to pass $60 billion

Is Canola a better crop than a weed?

Family farms a strong business model

Other Events
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

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

Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries Conference,
27-28 April 2016, Sydney. HERE
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