An award-winning Landcare project at Strath Creek has stalled.CHALPAT SONTI August 1, 2014 3:42am
Strath Creek Landcare Group president Terry Hubbard with one of the trees planted out on his land next to King Parrot Creek.
It’s an award-winning, slightly unusual and much admired project, but the rehabilitation of King Parrot Creek now needs government support to be completed.
That support hasn’t been forthcoming either at state and federal level, which is a surprise because the work so far has been an outstanding success and a role model for other river rehabilitations.
It is the work of Strath Creek Landcare Group which, unusually for such a group, ‘‘adopted’’ a creek as its main project.
This has led to a recent Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority community group award, the latest in a long list of achievements, but more importantly significant improvement to, using group president Terry Hubbard’s words, ‘‘transform parts of it from an open drain into a pristine environment’’.
Whether it be fencing — about 70 per cent of the creek length — even more trees, weed control or anything else, they are well on the way to accomplishing their goal. They have also restored areas next to breeding pools of Macquarie Perch, and that population continues to grow. The creek is home to a small population of platypuses.
Mr Hubbard, who farms the 849
All this from a group with 66 members, an impressive number in a small community.
But given the uncertainties surrounding Landcare funding from the federal budget and an apparent lack of interest from the state or federal governments in helping the group finish the job, how much more progress there will be is unclear. The battle is on two fronts — to get governments to change laws (and provide funding), and with small landholders.
‘‘I don’t for a moment advocate we should be fencing off every stream and waterway but where the stream is significant such as King Parrot Creek I think there’s justification for another approach,’’ Mr Hubbard said.
‘‘People who don’t co-operate should be forced to or surrender their licenses to enable the works to proceed. It’s a mistake for people who own small parcels of land to think that extra area means extra carrying capacity.
‘‘Fencing it off enhances the value and appearance of their property as well as the environment. The government needs to toughen up the laws relating to the use of frontages (particularly unrestrained stock grazing). That may not be popular with a lot of people but there are compromises which can be useful in restoring frontages.’’
Then there’s the money — and a little goes a long way.
‘‘We’re not totally reliant on grants being given to us,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re quite prepared to work and earn them but it’s still a cheap workforce for the (Catchment Management Authority). For every dollar of government money invested in the Landcare world there’s between $4 and $7 returned in value. It’s hard to beat that.’’
Strath Creek Landcare Group is among the few taking on a waterway project to such an extent — 11
‘‘Why wouldn’t you partner with Landcare to see the works carried out,’’ he said.
‘‘The funding these days precludes contractors, and Landcare volunteers are happy to pitch in and help out. They don’t care where — it’s seen as part of the function of Landcare.’’
It also has, literally, downstream effects.
‘‘There are places you can’t always expect fencing to happen, like flood plains where it would be a waste of time and money, but there’s a real need to tidy up our waterways which have degraded into open drains in many places,’’ Mr Hubbard said.
‘‘All it does is present problems downstream in places like Shepparton where floods occur in irrigation areas. The more vegetation adjacent to the stream and even in stream is healthier in so many ways. It filters out the nasties and it is a better environment for the habitat.’’
Shepparton United has signed Eaglehawk midfielder Brodie Filo as it looks to move back into the Goulburn Valley Football League finals next year.
With her effective left hand in particular, Chelsea Hanley retained the Victorian Under 17 junior welterweight title last Sunday with a convincing points decision victory.
It has been a successful year for Bega Cheese, which reflects on Tatura Milk Industries, with chair Barry Irvin announcing recently that Bega Cheese’s normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was $55.7 million and normalised profit after tax of $22 million.
ECHUCA-MOAMA kart racer Reece Sidebottom is heading to the Rotax world championships in Portugal.
MUSIC rang out at the Rochester Aged Care centre last week when the centre’s choir sang to an appreciative audience of residents and family members.
Great Race helps a great cause
Hundreds flock to Avenel to learn a thing or three.
Tocumwal Lions Club has plans to purchase the Bowling Club site for an aged care facility, which will only happen if the merger between the Tocumwal bowls and golf clubs proceeds.
A NASTY run-in with a kangaroo on the Northern Hwy between Melbourne and Echuca has convinced one regular traveller on the road the question of a cull needs to be addressed.
Three Cobram teens have been arrested by police after they allegedly stole tractors from Cobram and Tocumwal and caused about $30 000 in damage.
Whether you fancy a flutter on the Caulfield Cup or the local cup, the Deniliquin racecourse is the place to be on Saturday, October 17.
The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has acknowledged the completion of negotiations under the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), noting modest but important gains made for the Australian dairy industry in improving access to global markets.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.