SWCC is currently delivering its 2014-18 works programme, supported through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
The total value of the NLP Regional Stream is just over $12 million for the next three years.
The new NLP investments are comprised of three sub components: SW Sustainable Agriculture; SW Environment and SW Community Capacity.
Breakdown of funding (2015-18) over the three sub components:
South West Sustainable Agriculture Project
The South West Sustainable Agriculture project continues to support farming entities in the South West region to adopt sustainable land management practices that increase productivity and improve the quality of ecosystem services delivered to the broader community from their land.
The South West Sustainable Agriculture project will have a focus on sustainable farming practices, soil health and innovative farming solutions.
The Regional Landcare Facilitator (RLF) will contribute to fostering Landcare leadership and supporting the development of an engaged, skilled and capable Landcare community in the South West. Our RLF will invest in raising awareness of Landcare achievements, promoting sustainable farming practices and facilitating activities that build the capacity and confidence of the farming community and regional community leaders to participate in the protection of the natural resources of the South West.
This project will continue working on 32 trials to develop new and innovative practices on demonstration sites across 1530 hectares established under the previous regional plan. The trials involve 45 farming entities and covers a broad range of primary industries including cropping, grazing, horticulture, viticulture, dairy, irrigated beef and farm forestry.
The project draws on our extensive agricultural networks and project partnerships include industry bodies, government agencies, universities and research institutions to leverage support in technical agronomy advice, trial design and selection of appropriate best management practices for implementation. Primary industry, Community and Landcare groups play a key role in the delivery and coordination of many of the projects.
Extension activities, including workshops, field days, videos and case studies, are required activities for trials to enable key learnings, experiences, skills and knowledge to be shared with other farmers to facilitate broader practice change.
South West Environment Project
The South West Environment Project utilises a landscape approach across the South West NRM region to protect and restore ecosystem functions, resilience and biodiversity as well as reduce the loss of natural habitat, degradation and fragmentation by targeting priority assets and site. Key objectives of this project are to:
- Protect or conserve Matters of National Environmental Significance including management of Ramsar Wetlands, Listed EPBC listed threatened species, ecological communities and fauna in order to improve their conservation values by protecting and rehabilitating habitats through weed control, pest control, revegetation activities and fencing.
- Manage threatened ecosystems, habitat or native species through implementation of threat abatement plans, regional biodiversity management plans and appropriate management actions.
- Protect and manage the South West coastline working with the community and project partners by carrying our coastal rehabilitation, beach clean events but also through raising awareness on coastal issues.
- Carrying out further research on the Ramsar listed wetland Vasse Wonnerup which will result in better understanding of its threats, management issues and will provide key management recommendations and strategies to protect this Commonwealth priority site in the future.
- Build community awareness of biodiversity values, skills, participation and knowledge including indigenous participation to promote conservation and sustainable use of the biological diversity through events, workshops, on-ground implementation and field days.
- Engagement of the Aboriginal community in the consultation and participation in NRM project delivery.
South West Community Capacity Project
The South West Community Capacity and Engagement project is dedicated to increasing community awareness and understanding of South West natural assets and support the professional NRM, Landcare and volunteer community to undertake projects and engage in SWCC’s regional processes and decision making. It aims to continue to facilitate the shift from general community awareness to active and strategic community engagement and participation.
Community engagement across the whole region will provide a return on investment in current work in building community capacity to achieve NRM outcomes, Aboriginal engagement and recording of traditional knowledge, behaviour change and more broadly, fostering an appreciation and ownership of issues facing our South West natural environment.
The sub-project will undertake a collaborative and holistic approach to community engagement via a number of strategic approaches:
- Aboriginal Cultural connections will build on Aboriginal engagement and capacity building outcomes facilitated over previous investment and contribute towards the development of Aboriginal NRM enterprise opportunities and providing skills, formal training and paid work experience to aboriginal people in the South West.
- General community engagement, skills, knowledge and capacity building – Engagement of people/groups and the wider community across the whole region will provide a return on investment in current work in capacity building, behaviour change and more broadly, fostering an appreciation and ownership of issues facing our South West natural environment.
The South West Community Capacity and Engagement Project also includes Groundworks, a devolved grants programme which represents 20% of SWCC’s regional allocation. Groundworks is focused on supporting on-ground projects which engage and enable the landcare community to address local NRM priorities. Funding is delivered through two streams, large scale strategic grants and the smaller Community Groundworks Grants.
Proposed Ocean to Preston Regional Park Project (O2P)
To be completed by June 30th 2017
The proposed Preston River to Ocean Regional Park is Bunbury’s first proposed regional park. The PRORP project is a four year partnership between the South West Catchments Council (SWCC), City of Bunbury and Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW). The project, co-funded by the Australian Government and City of Bunbury, aims to address the threats to the park such as weeds, pest animals, Phytophthora Dieback, disposal of rubbish and garden waster and educating the community about the sensitivity of native vegetation.
The proposed project area involves 915ha of continuous public reserves linking the Bunbury coast to the Preston River, including Manea Park, Loughton Park, Hay Park, Tuart Brook and Maidens Reserve.
Regional NRM Planning for Climate Change in the SW NRM Region
To be completed by June 30th 2016
This project has to date delivered this interactive spatial website that is now the SW Regional NRM Strategy. The project will continue to engage SWCC’s partners and stakeholders about the new format of the strategy and will continue to assess the needs of all stakeholders in the continued updating of the website.
This update of the SW Regional NRM Strategy is funded by the Australian Government through Stream One of the Regional Natural Resource Management Planning for Climate Change Fund.