National NRM update for September 2020.  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.

Mayor George Brticevic with Greater Sydney LLS officer Linda Dedovic and Smiths Creek Reserve Bushcare volunteer Col Burnett.

A partnership project between Campbelltown City Council and the Greater Sydney Local Land Services is restoring koala habitat in Smiths Creek Reserve, Campbelltown’s largest urban bushland reserve.

Since 2015, more than 30 hectares of bushland has been restored and large amounts of invasive woody and vine weed species, particularly small and large-leaf privet and lantana, have been removed as part of the ongoing project. Stage five of ‘Smiths Creek Enhancing Koala Habitat’ project will see further weed removal and koala habitat restoration take place in Ruse. This urban bushland reserve provides an important corridor for the movement of koalas and other animals such as the endangered gang-gang cockatoo.

Visit the link for more information

Salt Pipewort. Image courtesy of Friends of Mound Springs

Renewed monitoring of mound springs near Marree in northern South Australia is giving Arabana Cultural Rangers the opportunity to partner with the South Australian Arid Lands (SAAL) Landscape Board to record changes to the site’s springs and to a nationally-endangered native plant – Salt Pipewort. Ongoing monitoring of all mound spring vents will be important in guiding future management of these systems. Rangers were shown how to monitor the sites, with the aim of the rangers continuing to undertake monitoring activities at the site every two years. This will enable both the rangers and SAAL to gain a better understanding of the mound spring system.

With the support of North Central CMA and Caring for the Campaspe, landholders in Victoria’s Campaspe River region have fenced off a total of 87 kilometres of river bank, installed water troughs, carried out weed control over 398 hectares and revegetated 271 hectares of riverbank.

According to cattle farmer Ricky Jenkyn, since fencing off his herd from the Campaspe River, the revegetation and water quality changes have been dramatic, with a return of native saplings, grasses and animals. It has also been an important step in ensuring cattle health, preventing them from wandering into neighbouring properties or becoming stuck or drowned in river bank mud. Visit the North Central CMA website for more information. Caring for the Campaspe is funded through the Victorian Government’s $222M Water for Victoria initiative.

Image credit: Matthew Doggett

The Tasmanian Smart Seafood Partnership (TSSP) has co-invested in the first phase of a giant kelp restoration project. Run by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), this project is supported by the National Environmental Science Program’s Marine Biodiversity Hub and the Climate Foundation.

Over the past few decades, Tasmania has lost 95% of its surface canopy-forming giant kelp due to warming waters. The project aims to repopulate areas of giant kelp with individuals that can withstand warmer waters, to a stage where they will self-recruit. The TSSP team is also working on developing community and education resources about marine habitat restoration to complement their seafood-related resources. Read more about the project here.

The TSSP is hosted by NRM South and works in partnership with the Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council. It is funded by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment through round one of the National Landcare Program’s Smart Farming Partnerships.

Victoria’s Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning recently supported Gunditj Mirring to carry out a cultural burn at Hurdle Swamp in Casterton. A 16ha area was burned using traditional practices, with the aim of enhancing habitat for the South-Eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo. The site is surrounded by Brown and Desert Stringybark, the only food sources for the endangered South-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo in the region. Glenelg Hopkins CMA and Traditional Owners from Gunditj Mirring will continue to monitor the regeneration of the bush after the burn to inform future burns.

Through funding from the Australian Government, WA’s Northern Agricultural Catchments Council is working with Birdlife and leading experts to help recover the endangered Carnaby’s Cockatoo population and prevent population decline.

Coomallo Creek, east of Jurien Bay, has numerous nesting sites including artificial hollows which are being used by the birds across the site. While nesting hollows are one of the essential tools for management of this species, they are only part of the solution. Carnaby’s Cockatoos face many threats including historical and new land clearing, habitat fragmentation, loss of foraging grounds and breeding habitat, road strike, poaching, persecution and climate change.

Some of the planned project activities will include the protection of existing breeding and feeding sites, revegetation, installation of artificial nesting hollows, repair of old and damaged hollows and control of competitor species, such as feral bees.

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation has announced 15 water quality projects that will stop 76,000 tonnes of sediment, nitrogen and pesticides running into our Reef’s waters every year in the high priority Mackay Whitsunday, Fitzroy and Wide Bay areas.

  • $9.4M Mary program which consists of one project that will reduce 26,000 tonnes of sediment annually – in collaboration with a consortium of local organisations led by the Burnett Mary Regional Group
  • $19.6M Fitzroy program which consists of five projects that will reduce 50,000 tonnes of sediment annually – in collaboration with the Fitzroy Basin Association
  • $22.7M Mackay Whitsundays program which consists of nine projects that will reduce 26 tonnes of nitrogen and 215 kilograms of pesticides annually – in collaboration with Reef Catchments.

The Regional Water Quality Program is funded by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s partnership with the Australian Government’s Reef Trust. Head to their website for more information.

Insect trapping technology that provides cropping farmers with remote and real-time data of crop pests is being tested in SA’s southern Yorke Peninsula.

Awarded a $10,000 Community Action Grant by the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board, Consultant Dr Michael Nash is using the funds to trial DTN Smart Traps and three other insect sampling methods to help cropping farmers reduce their reliance on pesticides.

Working with mixed species growers near Warooka and Curramulka, Dr Nash will test the DTN Smart Traps, which have on-board cameras to detect, count and report on pests, as a tool for integrated pest management (IPM). Read the full story here.

This project is one of five awarded a Community Action Grant by the Board in July, with total grant funding adding up to nearly $50,000 for agricultural and horticultural projects in the region.

In the Northern Territory, $500,000 of funding is going towards the newly launched Gamba Army initiative, a collaborative effort between Territory NRM and NT Weed Management Branch.

TNRM have already been working with many Ranger groups and landholders across parts of the Top End, including West Arnhem Land and Kakadu National Park, to help prevent spread into areas currently free from gamba grass, and controlling it in areas where it has taken a hold. The Gamba Army will provide additional resources and an opportunity for jobs for Territorians, to complement existing weed management conducted by private and government land managers.

The Australian Government is inviting applications under the Future Drought Fund: Natural Resource Management Drought Resilience Program - Grants. This grants round aims to support organisations, farmer groups and individuals to build drought resilience on agricultural landscapes. A competitive grants round is open for applications for innovative NRM practices and approaches. Grants between $20,000 to a maximum of $200,000 are available for successful applicants to deliver on-ground activities that build drought resilience on agricultural landscapes.