Regional Landcare Facilitator: West Gippsland CMA region
ABOUT MY REGION
The West Gippsland catchment region covers 17685 km2 and extends from west of Warragul through to the Gippsland Lakes, and the Great Dividing Range in the north to Wilsons Promontory and Bass Strait in the south. It is home to over 160,000 people. The West Gippsland population is dispersed between several regional centres including Warragul, Leongatha, Traralgon, Yarram and Sale. The Gunai/Kurnai peoples and the Kulin peoples are the traditional custodians of the land in this region.
The region includes parts of seven local government areas and contains three major river basins, two of which drain into the Gippsland Lakes and one which drains the southern slopes of the Strzelecki Range to Corner Inlet.
Key agricultural industries in the region include; dairy, beef, wool, lamb, potatoes and snow peas. The region provides 95% of the State’s electricity, 100% of the State’s gas, 27% of the water for Melbourne, and two thirds of Australia’s total oil production. Private plantation and public forestry industries and tourism are also significant.
Landcare is well-represented with over 2000 member families, in 70 Landcare groups owning and managing over 300,000 ha of land.
ISSUES AFFECTING LANDCARE IN MY REGION
· Pest plant and animal control
Maintaining and improving soil health through sustainable practices
· Keeping Landcare groups invigorated and accessing appropriate funding
· Water quality issues throughout the catchment
MY HIGHLIGHTS SO FAR
· Running and organising West Gippsland Landcare Week’s Sustainable Agriculture Showcase
· Organising two major forums focussing on soil carbon, at which, Jeff Baldock, from CSIRO, was our keynote speaker. Over 150 people attended the two events.
· Yarram Yarram Landcare Network’s Gippsland Drought Pasture Group’ s tour to the Western District. Collaborating with Perennial Pasture Systems in running a very successful tour.
· Assisting in the development of the West Gippsland “Healthy Soils” project, coordinating soil carbon benchmarking across the West Gippsland region.