National NRM update for March 2022. 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 2021 floods in Victoria's West Gippsland region saw significant damage to waterways and posed risks to infrastructure. West Gippsland CMA are coordinating recovery works, with multiple projects well underway across the catchment in partnership with community, landholders, local government and state departments. Repair works such as bank stabilisation, repair of fences and vegetation, and improving existing fishway structures will continue across the year. Click on the video link to find out more about the immediate and ongoing effects of the June 2021 flood event and WGCMA's response and ongoing role in flood recovery. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4CnLfXnVkE
NSW state and local government biosecurity specialists have been using the skills of a scent detection dog to search for the invasive parthenium weed at two infestation sites near Parkes. Detection dogs play an important role in sniffing out newly germinated weeds, which are difficult to find in dense undergrowth. Following treatment of the sites in May 2020 and March 2021, detection dog Connor and his handler were contracted by Central West Local Land Services (through the NSW Government Weeds Action Program) to carry out follow up surveillance. Detected in May 2020, the Parkes incursion was linked to contaminated harvesting and planting machinery from Queensland. Over 500 mature parthenium plants were removed and treated during the initial response. In March, NSW DPI led a team of NSW Government agencies and 13 local councils and searched for plants across 1000 hectares. Known infestation sites are monitored for up to five years to ensure the seed bank is exhausted.
Two landscape-scale environmental projects designed by SA's Northern and Yorke Landscape Board will go ahead thanks to nearly $1.3 million in funding from the State Government’s Landscape Priorities Fund. The Board has received $969,000 towards a $1.6 million coastal care project and $328,468 to regenerate river catchments in the Mid North. This funding boost for the Northern and Yorke region represents nearly half of a total $2.7 million from the second round of the Landscape Priorities Fund. The two-year Northern and Yorke Coastal Care project aims to build the coastline’s resilience through practical, on-ground land management activities, including 143ha of revegetation, 5km of fencing and 100ha of coastal weed management. It will also continue the work of protecting threatened Osprey with the roll-out of artificial nesting sites. The Regenerating Catchments in the Mid North Farmscape is a three-year project that will begin rolling out in 2022 and will increase the connectivity between remnant vegetation within the Wakefield River, Light River, North and South Para River and Gawler River catchments. https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ny/news/1-29m-to-fund-landscape-projects-in-northern-and-yorke
Irrigators throughout the northern Murray-Darling Basin have signaled their backing of a $6.6M Federal Government project to protect native fish with the first land manager contract signed. Project coordinator Southern Queensland Landscapes are delivering the Fish Friendly Water Extraction project on behalf of the Queensland government. The project has real benefits for both fish and farmers and delivers on the promises of the Commonwealth’s ‘Toolkit’ of environmental works and measures for the northern Basin. It will also reduce costly maintenance and downtime for irrigators; reduce energy consumption saving irrigators money on fuel and electricity bills; and improve water delivery to crops thereby increasing yields and return on investment; which equates to a win-win-win-win for both farmers and fish. For more information, visit https://www.sqlandscapes.org.au/first-contract-signed-in-6-6m-project
Victoria's North East CMA has initiated the Embedding Climate Adaptation in Agriculture project to increase the capacity of landholders, communities and local government to adapt to changes in regional climatic conditions. The first part of this four year project has developed spatial tools to help guide discussions about climate adaptation pathways. A moisture probe has recently been installed at Benambra to allow the for sharing of soil moisture and temperature information with farmers and soil scientists. Over the next 12 months the probe is expected to provide increasingly useful information. This project is supported by North East CMA and Agriculture Victoria with funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program. Find out more about the project here.
At north Queensland's Mission Beach, Djiru traditional owners are working to protect endangered littoral rainforest by tree-planting and weed control through one of Terrain NRM's Building Rainforest Resilience grants, funded through the Australian Government's National Landcare Program. Thousands of trees are being planted on the edge of littoral rainforest where the land has been overrun by guinea grass. Littoral rainforest is listed as endangered, and Clump Point at Mission Beach is the only place in the Wet Tropics where it is growing on volcanic soil. The project is not only protecting endangered coastal rainforest but is strengthening Djiru people’s ties with traditional ceremonial land. https://terrain.org.au/djiru-people-caring-for-country/
The Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board recently held workshops at Loxton North and Lowbank and District areas in SA to trial a new innovative prickle picker roller to help reduce the seed bank of pesky prickles such as caltrop and three corner jack, and complement herbicide programs. The seeds of these significant agricultural weeds remain viable for several years, presenting many challenges for effective control. The unique roller design of the Aussie Prickle Picker removes the bulk of surface caltrop and three corner jack, catching them in the unit’s containers. The machine can effectively extract years of prickle seed bank from the soil and reduce herbicide usage. It has already shown great results and the workshops were also a great opportunity for landholders to share their knowledge, touch base on other pest plant and animal issues and also combined as a fox bait distribution day leading into lambing season. https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/mr/news/a-prickly-problem-rolled-over
Territory NRM has partnered with the NT's Tiwi Island Regional Council and The Ark Animal Hospital to conduct a community animal census alongside a veterinary drive on Bathurst Island, with the support of Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities. TNRM is supporting these household surveys in the community of Wurrumiyanga and encouraging cat owners to desex their cats. The program aims to raise awareness about the impact of cats on wildlife, the reproductive capacity of cats, and responsible cat ownership. These activities are part of the “Community cat management in remote Indigenous communities” project under the Australian Government’s Environment Restoration Fund.
Farming Forecaster, the innovative and powerful feed budgeting and stock management tool that has seen a growing popularity amongst the NSW farming community, is now available to Tasmanian graziers. At well-attended recent workshops led by NRM South and NRM North, farmers were able to see this tool in action and get information on soil moisture, local weather, pasture production and livestock performance. The team at NRM South and NRM North are optimistic about the benefits Farming Forecaster will bring to Tasmanian farmers in drought-prone areas. This Tasmanian pilot is part of a project funded under the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and has been developed by NRM South in partnership with NRM North, the East Coast Primary Producers Association, the Upper Esk Landcare and Productivity Group, farmers in the Midlands and north Bruny, and the Tasmanian Government. https://nrmsouth.org.au/farming-forecaster-showcased-at-recent-workshops/
Continued efforts towards eradicating floating pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides) from WA's Canning River catchment have resulted in the lowest level of infestation ever observed over the summer months. Summer is the peak growth period for this serious aquatic weed and the very low levels of infestation are testament to the perseverance of the team from South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare (SERCUL), with only one small plant being found in March. Due to the continued germination of Hydrocotyle, eradication efforts will need to continue for a while longer but SERCUL hope to eradicate this weed by the end of the program in 2023 , however ongoing vigilance will be necessary to guard against any late germination and re-establishment. This project is funded by the Swan Canning River Recovery Stage 3, supported by Perth NRM through funding from the Australian Government.