Page 3298 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 17 September 2013

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Landcare awards

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (5.05): I recently had the pleasure of attending the 2013 ACT Landcare awards. I want to start with a bit of background on Landcare in the ACT; many members will be familiar with it.

Landcare groups in the ACT are supported by the three catchment coordinators and Landcare coordinators who work closely with local communities and across the border into New South Wales. These coordinators play a vital role in helping new groups to form and support existing groups in their development and effective operation. Some examples of issues being addressed by Landcare in the ACT are soil degradation, animal pests, weeds, vegetation loss, stream bank erosion, water quality, and urban land degradation.

Landcare in the ACT is strongly supported by a wide range of partners, including ACT ParkCare, Waterwatch, Urban Landcare, Rural Landcare, and regional partners. The Urban Landcare partnership is facilitated by the ACT government’s Territory and Municipal Services Directorate.

These are non-government organisations, NGOs, who are regionally focused community-based groups who partner with Landcare ACT. They include the ACT Catchment & Landcare Association, the Conservation Council ACT Region, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Greening Australia, Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc, the Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment Coordinating Committee, the Upper Murrumbidgee Landcare Committee, and Kosciuszko to the coast, K2C.

The biennial awards I attended on 5 September recognised the tireless work of the countless volunteers that improves the natural area of the ACT, but also recognised contributions to enhancing and improving our rural lands, conservation areas and other areas. The winners of these awards have become finalists for the 2014 national Landcare awards.

The Junior Landcare Team Award went to the Lanyon cluster of schools giving to the environment project in my electorate, with the North Belconnen Junior Landcare Group being highly commended. This year’s Indigenous Land Management Award went to the Yurung Dhaura Aboriginal Land Management Team. The Qantas Landcare Innovative Community Group Award went to the Hughes Garran Woodlands Group, with Friends of Aranda Bushland being highly commended. The Individual Landcarer Award went to Caroline Wenger, the convenor of the Umbagong Landcare Group; Jenny Horsfield, Minders of Tuggeranong Homestead, was highly commended in this category. The Landcare Facilitator or Coordinator Award went to Angela Calliess of Greening Australia Capital Region, with Pauline Carder of the Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment Coordinating Committee being highly commended.

The Innovation in Sustainable Farm Practices Award went to the Majura Valley Free Range Eggs group. The Partnerships with Landcare Award went to ACTEW’s source water protection program; Rob Thorman of the Land Development Agency was

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