Years of Landcare Recognized (April 2008)
Recently the Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee (WICC) were finalists for two Landcare awards and were announced as winners at the State NRM Conference held in Bridgetown.
The first nomination was for the Department of Water 'River Rats Living Streams Award' which recognizes the commitment of individuals, groups and communities to work together to protect, rehabilitate and manage drains, creeks, rivers and estuaries.
The second nomination was for the Murray Darling Basin Commission 'River Care Award' which is a National award made to a community organization which has made a significant contribution to the sustainable management, conservation and rehabilitation of a waterway ecosystem.
WICC was awarded both categories and their success has been due to:
- The landowners within the catchment who have undertaken activities such as: 210km of fencing of waterways to exclude stock; 97 associated stock crossings; 55 alternate water points; revegetating 120 ha of degraded areas with native vegetation; establishing 1300ha of perennial pasture; and soil testing and soil health activities. These figures are only including work completed since 2003 to March 2008 with more work to be completed soon.
- The commitment of the employees: Lynn Heppell, NRM Officer, Murray Hollingworth, Upper Hay Project Officer and Craig Carter, WINRAP Project Officer, to assist the landowners within the catchment to undertake on ground works through providing incentives, technical advice, and resources.
- The past and present volunteers on the committee who have driven the projects and managed the employees.
- And the Dept of Water and Dept of Agriculture and Food representatives who have assisted WICC undertake these projects.
By winning the National Award 'Murray Darling Basin Commission River Care Award' category WICC is now a finalist in the National Landcare Awards to be announced in Canberra in October. Two return airfares to Canberra and accommodation are being provided to WICC so representatives can attend the Award presentations. WICC will be competing against the winners from the other states for the honour of being the best River Carers in Australia for 2008.
This is the award nomination for the
DEPARTMENT OF WATER RIVER RATS LIVING STREAMS AWARD
This award recognises the commitment of individuals, groups and communities to work together to protect, rehabilitate and manage drains, creeks, rivers and estuaries
MURRAY-DARLING BASIN COMMISSION RIVERCARE AWARD
This award will be made to a community organisation, person or group which has made a significant contribution to the sustainable management, conservation and/or rehabilitation of a waterway ecosystem (i.e. rivers, streams, creeks and wetlands)
Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee
Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee (WICC) is a community organization addressing Natural Resource Management (NRM) issues within the Wilson Inlet Catchment. Since its formation in the early 1990s WICC has been actively assisting land owners to undertake on ground works including river care, bush care and sustainable agriculture.
WINRAP was launched in April 2003 and soon after projects implementing the action plan commenced. WICC in partnership with Department of Water successfully applied for and completed a Nutrient Action Plan funded project implementing priority actions of WINRAP. Subsequently WICC has acquitted several Envirofund projects assisting land owners to undertake actions identified in the plan. The Regional delivery model has been an excellent opportunity for WICC to further achieve on ground works with land owners implementing actions from WINRAP WICC is the delivery organization for the 'Implementation of WINRAP' and the 'Upper Hay Strategic Catchment Plan'. Both projects address action identified in WINRAP.
Since the launch of WINRAP, WICC has assisted over 100 land owners with funding:
- 195km of fencing to exclude stock from natural and man made waterways to protect riparian vegetation and stabilize river banks to reduce nutrient export and sedimentation
- Associated with this fencing there have been 46 alternate watering points and 86 stock crossings constructed
- Over 78 hectares of revegetation of priority flood plain areas and riparian vegetation has been achieved
- 995 ha of deep rooted perennial pasture have been established
- Point source pollution control at 5 dairies and 1 chicken waste composting site
- 4 nutrient management workshops have generated the adoption of soil testing by land owners with 114 Soil test performed and soil amelioration has been undertaken.
Further on ground work is in progress to improve water quality of the waterways and hence the Inlet. Through education and on ground works, the future nutrient levels of the inlet should reduce leading to less algal coverage.