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.’’
Two teenage boys have been arrested following a series of traffic incidents in Shepparton last night.
Fine weather and a strong number of athlete registrations will ensure this weekend’s Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival is another huge success.
The fifth annual King Billy Retreat Open Garden Party will be held at Rushworth on Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, from 10 am to 4 pm.
The head of the Building Designers Association of Victoria has big plans for the association.
St Joseph’s Primary School students have been preparing their push carts ahead of next month’s KidZcapers.
KCLC supported Southern Processing win award
Members celebrate over the weekend.
Berrigan Shire was this week approved for a low interest loan from the state government to undertake flood mitigation works.
Frank Hill is thrilled with his repaired 1948 grey Fergie.
As weather warms, so does car theft; Cobram police urge drivers to lock parked vehicles.
Deniliquin McDonald's raised more than $1300 for McHappy Day on Saturday.
Australian farmers are twice as likely to take their own lives as the general population, and university researchers want to know why.
Lions Benalla donates $1200 to buy a bar code reader for Lorraine Billman who will soon be able to go shopping without her husband.
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