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Landcare Victoria releases future plans amid funding risk

The backbone of Victorian landcare, Landcare Victoria Inc., has released the landcare community’s first 10-year plan and warned that a key part of Victoria’s response to biodiversity loss and climate change is at risk without longer-term and greater funding.

Launching the plan, Landcare Victoria Chair Jane Carney said the plan sets out a blueprint for the next decade and was developed in conjunction with Victoria’s Landcare community.

“I’m really proud of the plan and the role we can play, but we also have to address the fact that right now our work is at risk.

“Critical to the success of the plan are our 80 local facilitators and 10 regional coordinators who harness the power of tens of thousands of volunteers across more than 600 Victorian Landcare groups and help fill the extension gap left by the government.

“The funding the Victorian Government provides to us right now gets extended bit by bit, year by year and is not enough. That’s why we’re calling for an investment of $48 million over four years towards facilitator and coordinator roles.

“That will enable us to offer our facilitators and coordinators longer contracts at a fairer wage, and to hire 20 new facilitators to share the growing workload.”

In June the Victorian Government announced an $8.2 million investment in extending the roles of 80 part-time Victorian Landcare Facilitators and 10 Regional Landcare Coordinators, until 30 June 2025.

Mrs Carney said while Landcare Victoria appreciated the extension, it was not enough.

“We do a lot with a little at Landcare, but we must face facts. You can’t keep good people if you don’t give them an adequate wage and anything more than short-term contracts.”

The Empowering Landcare Communities – Landcare Plan for Victoria 2023-2033 will support the landcare community to plan for and implement projects that support biodiversity and landscape restoration and tackle climate change; deliver education and extension; develop best-practice evaluation and grow its partnership and volunteer base.

The plan can be downloaded here.

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