Time for Landcare groups to be heard by the Federal Government
You may well may well have already contacted your Federal Ministers about:
- the $100 Million commitment (this resulted from the National Greens negotiation over the backpackers tax and was announced in the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) last year) and
- the proposed delivery of the $1 Billion over the next four years of NLP funding announced in the last budget.
If you have – good on you. If you haven’t, it is time we made our position clear. There are dot points below to help frame a call to action to your Federal Members and Senators.
Please contact your local Federal Members and Senators (click here for contacts) urging them to:
- Release the $100 Million funds already committed to landcare.
- Consult openly with the landcare movement about how the NLP will be delivered 2018 onward (when current money runs out!).
- Share how they are going to deliver landcare/NRM $$ at the most local level possible creating local jobs, building local capacity and dealing with local and regional priorities.
- Announce the NRM program with enough time to make sure there is no gap in funding.
- Provide funding over at least 3 years to give continuity of jobs and to fund strategic rather than short term outcomes.
- Visit your group to see the great work you are doing.
- WE NEED THE $100 Million FUNDS TO BE ALLOCATED NOW
- The $100million MYEFO funding for landcare has not yet been released. If this is not released soon we can expect a destructive and disruptive gap in funding to all our landcare groups. This money was to be additional to current funds.
- The $100 million of funding for Landcare secured by the Australian Greens over the Governments Back packer tax reforms was announced October 2016 citing the importance of continuing to support Landcare. The funding was due to start flowing immediately and certainly within the 2016/17 financial year. Not a cent has been released to date. We are now into August of 2017. It is essential that funding be allocated now.
- With the Federal government only having a one seat majority, and doubts on citizenship raised today and previously, there is the prospect of an early election, which would further delay the timely release of these funds, unless they are released now.
- Most landcarers have had the experience of a gap in funding, loss of momentum and staff, and consequent reduction in commitment and motivation. We don’t need more experience.
- WE NEED TO BE CONSULTED RE NLP NEXT 4 YEARS OF FUNDING
- The announcement of the $1 Billion dollars over five years for the National Landcare Program was announced in May 2017 budget – a 20% reduction on previous funding.
- The government committed to engage in meaningful opportunities for the NLN and LA and other stakeholders to consult with them over the allocation and expenditure of these funds including project design.
- While we have continually been given assurances from Minister Frydenberg, Minister Hartsuyker, from advisors for both these ministers and also Minister Joyce’s office, as well as from both departments (Ag. and Env.) that meaningful consultation will occur, none has. There is cause for concern that decisions are being made regardless. Delays are ostensibly caused by matters between the two Minister’s Offices.
- Even if no final decisions have in fact been made, we understand that proposals are being discussed with some stakeholders and not others. It is not acceptable for the Landcare movement to be excluded from discussions of proposals before they become decisions!
- We seek urgent disclosure from both departments of all current proposals relating to NLP regional stream and national stream funding (if these streams still exist, or of whatever may have replaced them).
- The government can readily consult with 160 000 active landcarers through the National Landcare Network.
- It is unacceptable that this consultation is not occurring. We call on both Ministers to instruct the departments to immediately commence meaningful consultations across the Landcare networks on the National Landcare Program projects and proposed funding allocations.
CC us into your email if you can so we can share your words on the WA Landcare Network facebook page.