NRM news across the eastern and southern States has largely been dominated by bushfire news these past few weeks. While we will continue to bring updates on recovery efforts, this month’s update will also catch up on other NRM stories. This update represents just a handful among the hundreds of NRM projects going on across Australia, which are made possible through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and from respective State governments.

The NT Forestry Working Group had their first meeting to discuss the promotion of sustainable forestry practices in the Northern Territory. Funded by the National Landcare Program: Smart Farm Small Grants, this project will develop a publication focusing on sustainable forestry practices specific to the NT.
The working group brought together all organisations involved in Forestry in the NT to discuss the existing resources and information which can be made applicable to the NT, scoped the key topics and themes for the guidelines to focus on, and agreed that a common sustainability definition was needed.

Territory NRM will work with the partners over the coming months to develop this key industry document, aimed at further promoting and enhancing the already sustainable forestry industry in the Territory.

Image credit: Bill Doyle

Three research projects which will explore the potential for blue carbon sites from the Fleurieu through to Adelaide’s northern coastline have been awarded $240,000 in grant funding.

SA Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said blue carbon presented an exciting opportunity for South Australia to accelerate action to protect and restore coastal ecosystems.

The projects involve significant collaboration and co-investment across universities and researchers, and the NRM board’s $240,000 investment has leveraged projects with a combined value of over $660,000. For more information, visit Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges NRM.

Image credit: Greg Kerr, Nature Glenelg Trust

A recently awarded Victorian Government Climate Change Innovation Grant (via DELWP) is funding major on-ground works to improve habitat at Walker Swamp, located near the Grampians National Park – now owned by Nature Glenelg trust (NGT). The project will recreate wetland habitat for threatened and iconic species like the brolga and growling grass frog.

The project is being delivered by NGT in partnership with the Glenelg Hopkins CMA and the Hamilton Field Naturalists Club, with grant funding support from the Victorian Government, and support from the wider community. For more information on the project, click here.

After three years, the Reef Alliance’s Growing a Great Barrier Reef (GGBR) project has concluded with two reports just released detailing the partnership’s achievements in encouraging farmers to embrace practice change and make on-farm improvements to mitigate and manage agriculture’s impact on the Reef.

The GGBR project was funded by the Australian Government as part of the $140 million investment program for Reef Trust Three, which was described as being directed towards the long term protection and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area–with funds being invested in a range of programs that address the highest priority threats to the Reef.

Click here to view a copy of the report.

Wheatbelt NRM in WA is working with the Department of Environmental Regulation and Water as part of the Clean Waterways Program, to assist their community to protect and improve important waterways in the region. They are currently working in the Talbot and Boyagerring Brook catchments supporting landholders to fence and revegetate their waterways.

This work aims to reduce erosion and the amount of sediment washed down the creek. Revegetation also helps reduce the potential for eutrophication and provides habitat for native animals and of course provides a special place on the farm for a stress relieving stroll.

So far they have assessed over 28km of waterways – recording information on fencing, vegetation cover and weed and pests. To date, four landholders have signed up to to this project and the first plantings will go in this winter.

Work is advancing on a  $2.1 million disaster recovery project at nine sites across the Wet Tropics in northern Queensland. Terrain NRM is managing the project, with eligible works jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Stewart Creek in the Daintree region is the first of five projects in the Douglas Shire associated with Stage 1 funding to have undergone restoration. Almost 450 tonnes of rock was used to reinforce 23 metres of streambank that had been eroded following a destructive 2018-19 monsoon season. Revegetation efforts will be completed on the site when the wet season commences.

For more information about this and other planned projects, visit the Terrain NRM news page.

In late February, South Coast NRM (WA) announced the launch of  Restoring Noongar Boodja. Three integrated and innovative projects, funded by Lottery West, will transform how traditional ecological knowledge informs the management of  natural resources in the south-west WA region.

They have been developed in close consultation with the Aboriginal community and partner groups from across the South Coast and apply a forward-thinking approach to the management and protection of biodiversity and ancient landscapes. For more information on the projects, visit the South Coast NRM website.

This month, leading ecologists, government representatives, conservation groups and landholders attended a multi-day workshop to develop a recovery plan for bushfire-affected wildlife species on Kangaroo Island.

While the bushfires have had a devastating impact on already-threatened species such as the Kangaroo Island Dunnart and the Kangaroo Island Glossy Black-cockatoo, recovery work is already underway  – including the construction of a feral-free haven to secure one of the the surviving dunnart populations from feral predators.

In the far south coast region of NSW, work crews in Mogo and Batemans Bay have been implementing sediment control structures such as eco-logs, jute mesh and burnt logs. These measures are a critical step in protecting aquatic habitats such as saltmarsh and seagrass beds and oyster leases.

Staff from Bega LLS with experience in implementing sediment control measures demonstrated different methods and materials that can be used to control post fire inputs into waterways. Training was delivered to Local Aboriginal Land Councils in Mogo and Batemans Bay, other contractors, Local Land Services staff and Eurobodalla Shire Council staff.

Three teams have now gone on to work in the Clyde and Duea Catchments and a crew of five people worked for two weeks placing over 100 structures in drainage lines leading into the Clyde River in priority areas.