Tatura’s Crouching Emu Revegetation Project is a finalist in the Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria’s Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities Awards 2013.
Greater Shepparton City Council sustainability and environment officer Travis Turner told those at the presentation of certificates he had been project officer for CERP for the past three years.
He welcomed Gary Mogford and Glenda James from Sustainability Victoria, who travelled from Melbourne to present the Sustainable Communities Award finalist certificates.
Mr Turner said the Crouching Emu Revegetation Project was a Tatura community driven project that began in 2006 and finished at the end of 2012.
‘‘The project set out with the mission of establishing an environmental corridor containing indigenous species along Dhurringile Rd, Tatura,’’ he said.
‘‘By the end of 2012 the Crouching Emu Revegetation Project had accomplished the following major achievements:
● The density and diversity of native species has been greatly increased with more than 13 000 indigenous plants planted during the past seven years.
● About 8 km of environmental corridor containing indigenous vegetation was established linking the pre-existing patches of remnant native vegetation.
● Weed species are greatly reduced in numbers and woody weeds such as willow and peppercorn are now largely absent from the roadside; and
● Walking paths have been constructed through the planted vegetation to encourage pedestrian and bicycle use and allow for increased accessibility and appreciation of these enhanced areas.’’
Mr Turner thanked the many people involved in the project including GSCC Sustainability and Environment manager Greg McKenzie, ‘‘for his unwavering support of the project from its inception to its conclusion last year’’; his predecessors at council, Tracy Taylor, Marisa O’Halloran and Ann Roberts; John Laing and Wendy D’Amore from the Goulburn Murray Landcare Network, the Dhurringile and District Landcare group; Terry Court from the Tatura Revitalisation Committee which was instrumental in starting the project; DPI officers Gemma Beard, Chelsea Nicholson, Nickee Freeman and Jen Pagon; Ron Mallon from the Generations Church Tatura; and Ross Musolino from Transition Towns Tatura.
‘‘The Project Committee provided project management, site management, planting and site maintenance, co-ordination of school and community planting days, and other school and community education activities,’’ Mr Turner said.
‘‘Other key project contributors included Dhurringile Rd residents, Tatura community, Tatura Primary School, Sacred Heart School, Bethel Christian College and Mooroopna Secondary College, who were all involved in annual National Tree Day plantings.’’
Mr Turner also thanked others involved over the years, including Joe Masters and the Mission Australia National Green Jobs Corps youth work crew and the GV REEP work crew (who provided countless hours of labour at no change), the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority which provided financial support via several community education and awareness grants and in particular Chris Norman and Rachael Spokes for their support, as well as the Tatura Guardian and Tatura Community Bulletin, ‘‘both of which provided continuous publicity to raise the communities’ awareness of project activities’’.
‘‘The substantial achievements of the Crouching Emu Revegetation Project are proof that the community can make substantial improvements to their local environment over very short time periods,’’ he said.
‘‘The key to achieving these successes has been a strong emphasis on community engagement and establishing strong partnerships between state and local government, community groups and the community themselves.’’
The Tidy Towns — Sustainable Communities Awards recognise and celebrate positive actions taken by communities in regional Victoria to protect and enhance their local environment.
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