The Australian Government has released information on the next phase for the National Landcare Program (Phase 2).
The National Landcare Program(2) is a $1.1billion program to with the majority of activities to commence from July 2018 to June 2023.
The investment will primarily be delivered by the Department of the Environment and Energy and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and will include a range of measures to support natural resource management and sustainable agriculture, and to protect Australia’s biodiversity.
With its investment in the next phase of the National Landcare Program, the Australian Government aims to work in partnership with governments, industry, communities and individuals to protect and conserve Australia’s water, soil, plants, animals and ecosystems, as well as support the productive and sustainable use of these valuable resources.
The National Landcare Program is a nationwide effort to address problems such as:
  • loss of vegetation
  • soil degradation
  • the introduction of pest weeds and animals
  • changes in water quality and flows and
  • changes in fire regimes.
Information on the National Landcare Program can be found at www.nrm.gov.au
Hunter Local Land Services have submitted projects within the National Landcare Program, under the Smart Farm Program (grant program closed in December 2017).
Our proposed projects include:
  • Confident Dairy Decision via the Cloud to App- Optimising pasture growth efficiency across a variable farming landscape
  • Connecting farmers and science- Beef Producer Community of Practice linking innovation research outcomes and experience for farmers producer networks service providers landcare government
  • Connecting for improved practice-Small Scale Free range poultry egg producers Community Of Practice
  • Hunter region estuary-dependent industries partnership - innovations for improving sustainability, habitats, production and adaptation
  • Advancing floodplain grazing while progressing estuarine health and oyster production using precision positioning technology
Hunter Local Land Services is also in the process of developing a tender proposal to the Regional Land Partnerships program.
The Regional Land Partnerships program is a five year program, with $450 million nationally towards environmental and agricultural outcomes.
Under new program, the requirements are specific and targeted. The Australian Government has identified specific targets in the program including Ramsar wetlands, World Heritage Areas, 30 plants, 20 mammals and 20 bird species listed under the Threatened Species Act, targeted Threatened Ecological Communities and identified priority actions for agricultural outcomes including addressing hillslope and wind erosion, soil acidifcation, soil carbon, vegetation and supporting agricultural systems to adapt to significant change.

Within the Hunter region, specific priorities have been identified by the Australian Government:

Threatened Species Strategy Species

Common Name

Scientific Name

% of distribution within Hunter Region (KL)

Endemic to Region (KL)

Australasian Bittern (Bird)

Botaurus poiciloptilus

3.41

No

Eastern Curlew (Bird)

Numenius madagascariensis

1.34

No

Homoranthus darwinioides(Plant)

Homoranthus darwinioides

32.66

No

Magenta Lilly Pilly (Plant)

Syzygium paniculatum

50.33

No

Malleefowl (Bird)

Leipoa ocellata

0.02

No

Regent Honeyeater (Bird)

Anthochaera phrygia

8.00

No

Swift Parrot (Bird)

Lathamus discolor

5.51

No

Threatened Ecological Community

Community Name

% of distribution within Hunter (KL)

Endemic to unit (KL)

Central Hunter Valley eucalypt forest and woodland

100.00

Yes

Grey Box (Eucalyptus microcarpa) Grassy Woodlands and Derived Native Grasslands of South-eastern Australia

0.11

No

Hunter Valley Weeping Myall (Acacia pendula) Woodland

100.00

Yes

Littoral Rainforest and Coastal Vine Thickets of Eastern Australia

2.22

No

Lowland Rainforest of Subtropical Australia

27.78

No

Natural grasslands on basalt and fine-textured alluvial plains of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland

0.09

No

Posidonia australis seagrass meadows of the Manning-Hawkesbury ecoregion

40.71

No

Subtropical and Temperate Coastal Saltmarsh

3.66

No

Upland Basalt Eucalypt Forests of the Sydney Basin Bioregion

2.93

No

White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland

2.02

No

Ramsar Wetlands

Name

Hunter Estuary Wetlands

Myall Lakes

World Heritage Area

Name

Gondwana Rainforests of Australia

The Greater Blue Mountains Area

Soil Priorities

Priority

Class

Hillslope Erosion

Medium

Acidification

Medium

Soil Carbon

Medium

General Priorities

  • Native vegetation and biodiversity
  • Supporting agriculture systems to adapt to change

Hunter Local Land Services is working with key partners, stakeholders and community groups to develop project proposals that address priority objectives for the Regional Land Partnerships Program.

We are working in collaboration with partners and stakeholders, to continue efforts in the region, build on partnership activities and levering funding through partners and other investments, and address requirements for delivery by the Australian Government.
We intend to work with the agricultural and aquaculture industries, landholders, community groups, aboriginal land managers and organisations and public land managers to deliver services that support:
1. Projects that improve industry best management practices that relate to native vegetation and biodiversity outcomes on-farms.
2. Projects that will protect and enhance on-farm remnant native vegetation, including improving the management of existing remnants, wetlands, rocky outcrops and paddock trees.
3. Projects that bring together local groups to collate and update information to produce spatially explicit data for natural resource management at a regional level, which captures previously funded vegetation and biodiversity projects on-farm and provides a foundation for investment planning.
4. Projects that assist agricultural systems (including marine) to adapt to growing market preferences for products with demonstrable traceability and sustainability.
5. Projects that support industries, farmers and fishers to adopt new management practices that helps them to adjust to weather and/or climate variability

Environment Outcomes:

Outcome 1: By 2023, there is restoration of, and reduction in threats to, the ecological character of Ramsar Sites, through the implementation of priority actions.

Hunter Local Land Services are working with key partners to develop the following projects addressing priority wetlands and local catchment zones:

Myall Lakes Ramsar Wetlands: Working with local government, PWS, Landcare and Aboriginal Land Management Teams to implement activities that address weed issues (aquatic and terrestrial), protect and stabilise dunes, reduce nutrient flows from agricultural activities, and protect habitat and species within the wetlands catchment area and support pest control programs(fox/wild dogs).

Hunter Estuary Ramsar Wetlands: Working with PWS, Landcare, CVA, Crown Lands and Hunter Wetlands Centre to restore saltmarsh, protect shorebird and migratory bird habitat, reduce nutrient flows from agricultural activities, and pest control activities (fox/wild dogs)

Outcome 2: By 2023, the trajectory of species targeted under the Threatened Species Strategy, and other EPBC Act priority species, is stabilised or improved.

Hunter Local Land Services are working with key partners to develop the following projects addressing priority species on private and public lands:

Regent Honeyeater: Working with local government, Office of Environment and Heritage(OEH), landcare, BirdLife Australia, LALC's and Aboriginal Land Management Teams and other land managers to support activities that protect key breeding habitat on private and public land within the Cessnock Biodiversity Management Plan region and more broadly in priority Upper and Lower Hunter habitats to support restoration of significant vegetation and protect foraging trees within the Upper and Lower Hunter and support community monitoring programs and educational activities, including protection of significant TEC vegetation such as Hunter Valley Eucalypt Forests and Grassy Box Woodlands.

Swift Parrot: Working with local government, ANU, partner Local Land Services, OEH, BirdLife Australia and landcare in the Upper and Lower Hunter regions, to support ongoing restoration and enhancement of Swift Parrot foraging areas, and support a long term strategic schools education program, including protection of significant TEC vegetation such as Hunter Valley Eucalypt Forests and Grassy Box Woodlands.

Homoranthus darwiniodes: Working with local government, OEH, CVA, Landcare and other partners to raise awareness of this species in the Upper Hunter, improve knowledge of extent on private lands, and support habitat protection programs.

Eastern Curlew: Working with PWS, OEH, BirdLife Australia, community groups, Universities and Landcare to support a long term community monitoring program, pest control program in key roosting areas, raise awareness and improve or protect key habitats within wetlands in Ramsar and private lands, and supporting activities such as beach awareness, marine debris management and responsible pet ownership that will also protect and support other migratory species and local shorebird populations.

Australasian Bittern: Working with BirdLife Australia, OEH, local government, DPI Fisheries, community groups and PWS to improve knowledge of extent and location of this species through community monitoring, support landholders to improve practices to enhance priority habitat areas and support pest control programs (wild dog/fox) in priority habitat areas.

Magenta Lilly Pilly: Working with OEH, local government, Landcare and community groups in coastal areas to better understand distribution of species on private lands, support restoration/protection activities (including within key Littoral Rainforest and Lowland Rainforest remnants)

Outcome 3: By 2023, invasive species management has reduced threats to the natural heritage Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage properties through the implementation of priority actions.

Hunter Local Land Services are working with key partners to develop the following projects addressing priority World Heritage Areas with adjoining landholders:

Greater Blue Mountains WHA: Working within a strategic partnership with Central Tablelands, Greater Sydney and Riverina LLS, PWS and local government and weed authorities to deliver cross regional approach to managing invasive animals and weed threats within a nominal 10Km buffer of the WHA region, supporting education programs, knowledge sharing, priority weed and pest programs(fox) and complementing efforts by PWS within the WHA into adjoining land areas.

Gondwana Rainforests of Australia-Barrington and Chichester WHA: Working with local government, PWS and weeds authorities to deliver to managing invasive animals and weed threats within a nominal 10Km buffer of the WHA region, supporting education programs, priority weed and pest programs(pigs/Fox) and complementing efforts by PWS within the WHA into adjoining land areas.

Outcome 4: By 2023, the implementation of priority actions is leading to an improvement in the condition of EPBC Act listed Threatened Ecological Communities.

Hunter Local Land Services are working with key partners to develop the following projects addressing priority Threatened Ecological communities on private and public lands:

Grassy Box Woodland: Working with mining companies, OEH, Upper Hunter Weeds, Landcare and community groups, to enhance and regenerate box woodland on agricultural lands with education, grazing and revegetation planning, revegetation and protection activities to enhance remnants and build connectivity in the Merriwa Plateau.

Littoral Rainforest and Lowland Rainforests: Working with local government, OEH, PWS, Landcare and community groups, LALCs to deliver a program to support improved land holder management of remnants, and support activities that restore and protect vegetation such as fencing, grazing and revegetation/regeneration and weed management and improve monitoring the extent and condition of remnants on private lands, including protection of TSP species Magenta Lilly Pilly.

Subtropical Temperate Saltmarsh: Working with PWS, OEH, Landcare, DPI Fisheries and community groups to support protection and restoration of saltmarsh in estuaries on private and public lands through Juncus acutus and mangrove management, key education programs and marine debris/litter management and support landholders with grazing, fencing and other restoration efforts.

Poisidonia-Seagrass of the Manning-Hawkesbury: Working with DPI Fisheries,  local government, oysters, aquaculture and fishery groups and land managers to protect seagrass through best management practices on infrastructure and fishery practices in the Manning, Lake Macquarie and Lower Hunter estuaries.

Agriculture Outcomes:

Outcome 5: By 2023, there will be increased awareness and adoption of land management practices that improve and protect the condition of soil, biodiversity and vegetation.

Outcome 6: By 2023, there is an increase in the capacity of agriculture systems to adapt to significant changes in climate and market demands for information on provenance and sustainable production.

Hunter Local Land Services are working with key partners to develop the following projects addressing priority agricultural issues, across multiple industries:
Soil Fertility Services: support agricultural land managers to improve fertiliser use, adopt new tools and monitoring tools and improve land manager skills and capacity, working with industry groups and FertCare
Developing Best Management Practices for pasture systems to improve sustainability and productivity: Support agricultural land managers with practices that improve management of lands on steep slopes, adopt best management practices and increase pasture cover and production across Dairy, Poultry and Beef industries.
Heat Stress and Dairy: Support dairy farmers to adapt to climate change and climate impacts, through monitoring and managing dairy systems.
Soil network and soil moisture probes: Working with beef and other industries to monitor and manage seasonal conditions, that improve pastures, assist enterprise selection and manage heat stress.

Hunter region estuary- industries partnership - innovations for improving sustainability, habitats, production and adaptation

Australian Government Tender for the Regional Land Partnerships closes on 28 February 2018.

We are working on detailed proposals for year 1 and more high level proposals for years 2-5 (as per Australian Government tender specifications).

If you wish to contact us or find out more about this potential program and HLLS proposals, please contact us on admin@hunter.nsw.gov.au.
A fact sheet with more information on the Regional Land Partnerships program can be downloaded here.