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 men charged over the armed robbery of a Shepparton service station have been remanded in custody until next week.
The 2014 Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival has been hailed a huge success by organisers and participants alike.
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.
Echuca College students Calum Pearson, Luke Judd, Kiriana Epararma, Harriet Nilon, Kyle Melhuish and Stephanie Chong are heading to China.
A former Rochester resident is helping women with their confidence and their horses.
Accusations of bullying, disrespect and dangerous conduct.
And the school's best all-rounder for this year.
Finley's Mark Whiley has been traded from the GWS Giants to Carlton - the club he has supported all his life.
District residents are being invited to enjoy Oktooberfest celebrations at Tooborac Hotel and Brewery.
Momentum builds for the greatest show in Cobram, with young and old expected to lap up family attractions in sunny conditions.
Water users have welcomed the governments' announcement of a $350 million package for new irrigation efficiency programs in NSW, but say water availability is in need of improvement.
Farmers and anyone interested in big boys’ toys will be fascinated to check out an unmanned helicopter in action at an Ardmona orchard.
Judge comments, If I were single, I'd marry this steak!
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