Page 725 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 28 March 2023

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Under the NLP program from 2018 through to 2023, the Australian government has devolved more than $450 million to the 54 regional natural resource management organisations across Australia, including ACT NRM in the ACT government’s Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate, to deliver on-ground environmental and sustainable agriculture improvements and build the capacity, skills and knowledge of the community.

ACT NRM received $7.3 million to deliver nine large programs that achieved the Australian government, ACT government and community natural resource management priorities. The Australian government’s contributions have been significantly augmented by the ACT government contributing to ACT NRM through direct funding, in-kind support and the provision of internal expertise and experience.

In addition, various units of the ACT government, such as Conservation Research and the ACT Parks and Conservation Service, have collaborated with ACT NRM to help design and deliver NLP projects. This funding has also supported the development of the draft Caring for Dhawura Ngunnawal: a natural resource plan, which, when finalised and released, will outline pathways to protect, enhance and sustainably use natural resources within the ACT over the next 20 years, reflecting community and government aspirations.

The program has also made a significant contribution to ACT NRM’s First Nations engagement and participation in protecting and enhancing the ACT’s natural resources, supported by the ACT NRM’s Aboriginal NRM team. ACT NRM has a long history of working with the ACT’s Ngunnawal people in the design and delivery of project services, and the NLP has continued that commitment. Following the devastating impact of the 2020 Orroral Fire on the natural environment and traditional custodian heritage values, ACT NRM has supported Ngunnawal people to identify priorities for bushfire recovery in Namadgi National Park.

Five on-country workshops are being delivered to share land management skills that can lead to employment pathways for Ngunnawal people, now and into the future, covering cultural fire management; seed collection and nursery management; women’s business; and cultural interpretation.

The NLP funded ACT NRM to deliver the Connecting and Protecting Endangered Woodlands project, focusing on the critically endangered threatened white box-yellow box-Blakely’s red gum grassy woodland and derived native grassland ecological community in the ACT. This vegetation community has been the focus of restoration, pest animal and weed control activities, and community and farmer engagement to improve understanding and skills in protecting this precious community. The project is benefiting threatened and declining woodland bird species and other fauna that is dependent on these box gum woodlands. The project has achieved more than 547 hectares of weed control and more than 470 hectares of revegetation of box gum woodlands across farms and public land in the ACT.

The project achieved a high degree of participation in on-ground environmental restoration activities on farms by building the knowledge of farmers who host box gum woodlands on their farms. Farmers were provided with simple clear information

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