Helping Landcare protect the environment
Published: 20 September 2023

Helping Landcare protect the environment

Victoria and West Gippsland’s Landcare volunteers are set to deliver another round of exciting and inspired projects thanks to this year’s Victorian Landcare Grants. 

Minister for the Environment Ingrid Stitt announced the recipients of $3.98 million for the 2023 Victorian Landcare Grants which will help volunteers protect and restore landscapes. 

More than 240 projects were allocated grants worth up to $20,000 to further safeguard the state’s biodiversity, while $500 grants will be given to 269 environmental volunteer groups to assist with administration and running costs. 

CEO of WGCMA, Martin Fuller said: “I am delighted that West Gippsland Landcare groups received $365,118 for 24 projects and 37 support grants.” 

“Successful projects extend across a large portion of the West Gippsland catchment area and will support Landcare groups and valued volunteers to continue and also begin a range of projects that will support their current important role of enhancing the West Gippsland environment and its ability to adapt to meet emerging challenges.” 

“Landcare has a long and proud history in West Gippsland. Made up of five Landcare networks that support 60 Landcare groups, they are a committed and motivated grassroots community that have delivered best practice natural resource management for more than 30 years.”  

The successful projects vary from restoring habitat to protecting threatened species habitat in the Anderson Inlet area including the Lace Goanna and Blue Winged Parrot, planting multispecies pastures and revegetating the Durt’Yowan (Latrobe River) and its tributaries to reduce sediment run off entering the Gippsland Lakes.  

Tanjil Valley Landcare Group Community Festival

The Willow Grove Community Festival will see the Tanjil Valley Landcare Group raise environmental awareness of all visitors through a range of engaging displays and activities while strengthening community ties. 

Group member John Crosby said: “We will have a mixture of environmental activities and displays with local community groups providing support with food, activities and music etc. The festival will feature interactive wildlife displays, renewable energy displays, tree planting, Nature Play activities and an environmental treasure hunt. This event will raise the profile of our group and of the environment.”  

“The funding will enable us to provide high quality displays and activities for the event which will engage the public. It will give our group a great sense of worth to know we are going to be able to run this festival again and that we are supported by the government.”

Arawata Landcare Group: Building biodiverse microbiomes on-farm

Arawata Landcare Group’s successful project will work with local landholders to continue to establish a ‘green corridor’ to promote endemic vegetation and provide stepping stones for animal populations to access, supporting them to survive and thrive.

“Our project will consolidate and build on the past five years of planting more than 38,000 stems to revive, revegetate, stabilise and rehabilitate our landforms. We also want to build biodiversity on-farm through planned revegetation activities, and promote awareness among our members and our community of practices that improve long-term biodiverse outcomes,” said group member Jo Sapir. 

“Without the support of VLG it would not be possible for Arawata Landcare to undertake these projects. Aside from the environmental benefits, the workshops and planting days are great opportunities for the community to get together, sharing their knowledge and expertise while providing great fun and a meaningful reason to get busy outdoors.” 

Mardan Mirboo North Landcare Group – Tackling erosion and landslips in Strzelecki Ranges

The Mardan Mirboo North Landcare Group was successful to gain funds for their project to tackle erosion and landslips in the Strzelecki Ranges through an information resource, fencing and revegetation.  

Landcare Group to tackle the devastating impact of erosion on soil quality and sustainable agriculture. The revegetation work supported by the grant funding will stablilise land where erosion has occurred, improve local biodiversity through the planting of native species, and help to reverse the loss of habitat for native fauna, including koalas,” said group member, Aaron Doty.

Group president Helen Hasty added: “This funding provides an amazing boost to our group and to the efforts of local farmers who are trying to deal with the impact of erosion. It is the best of both worlds – saving our farmland for the future, while also providing much-needed habitat for native plants and animals.”  

Minister for the Environment Ingrid Stitt said: “This funding is an important way that we’re supporting volunteers and their communities to secure our environment for future generations.” 

“Our volunteers are invaluable, and these grants will allow them to continue to make a significant difference at a grassroots level.” 

The funding of volunteer groups is underpinned by the Andrews Labor Government’s Biodiversity 2037 strategy, a record investment of $582 million since 2014 – the biggest investment into protecting biodiversity and environment in our state’s history. 

A full list of this year’s Landcare and Biodiversity grant recipients can be found here.