While agriculture dodged some anticipated bullets in the federal budget, the shrapnel has spread since its release last week, particularly in the natural resource management sector.CATHY WALKER May 20, 2014 3:10am
Landcare programs have had $483 million stripped from them although Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey was quick to point out the government had allocated $525
Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority chief executive officer Chris Norman was clearly unimpressed.
‘‘Whilst specific budget details relevant to the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority are yet to be provided, this appears to be a very disappointing result for the catchment, as it is for the environment generally,’’ Mr Norman said.
‘‘While the authority last year secured significant Commonwealth funding to deliver on a range of soil health, biodiversity, weed management and community projects over a five-year period, it is likely now that this funding will reduce from 2015-16.
‘‘It is also likely that the opportunity for community groups, such as Landcare, to apply for various grants programs over the next few years will now be reduced too.’’
Mr Norman said details of how the Green Army Program was to operate had not yet been provided by the Federal Government, but based on the reduced funding from the budget, more money would be required if the CMAs were to run them.
‘‘(Our) management experience indicates that additional operating funds will be needed by the CMA to successfully implement projects with the Green Army,’’ he said.
A Goulburn Valley Landcare facilitator who did not wish to be named was disappointed about budget cuts and wary of the Green Army concept.
‘‘Our concern is that if we have any reduction in funding from the Federal Government many of our existing projects will fall over,’’ the officer said.
‘‘And it’s not as easy as they say it is to bring these volunteers in — you are dealing with people that are not experienced in fencing or tree planting, so you need to be out there all the time with them and that could be more of a headache than anything.
‘‘They’d need an intensive training course; occupational health and safety is your biggest issue.’’
After spending two games in the WAFL Michael Barlow has been recalled to play for Fremantle against St Kilda this weekend.
Three Yarrawonga footballers have excelled at interleague level, representing the Ovens and Murray against Hampden in Warrnambool on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
The Moama-Echuca Border Raiders took a big stride into the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League for 2016 with a solid, four-grade performance at Eaglehawk’s Truscott Reserve on Sunday.
THE town’s schools celebrated Education Week last week.
Kyabram Football Club will host a family day next weekend.
Where there’s a Will, there’s a way
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
HEATHCOTE Pre-school staff members were overwhelmed by the response to their annual Garden Express Spring Bulb fundraiser.
Youth services in Cobram have received a helping hand thanks to a new appointment made possible through a community store.
Plans for the release of a carp herpes virus has captured the attention of international press.
Farmers from northern Victoria will join a protest rally over milk prices in Melbourne tomorrow, Wednesday.
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