5. Report on the operation of the Natural Resources Management (Financial Assistance) Act 1992

​​The Natural Resources Management (Financial Assistance) Act 1992 assists the development and implementation of an integrated approach to natural resource management (NRM). In particular, it supports the Sustainable Farm Practices component of Caring for our Country. Under subsection 26(1) of the Act, a report must be prepared each year on the operation of the Act and agreements made under it. This is that report.

The 2012–13 appropriations funded under the Act totalled $37.0 million, comprising $35.1 million of administered funds from the Caring for our Country—Landcare appropriation and the balance in departmental funding. Appropriations in 2011–12 were $38.8 million.

Section 11 of the Act established the Natural Resources Management special account and allowed $35.1 million of administered funds to cover agreements made under Section 6 of the Act to be paid into the special account. In addition, funds from 2011–12 were carried forward in the special account.

In 2012–13, $2.5 million of appropriation funding was transferred to the Department of the Treasury to enable payments for eradication measures required under the Federal Financial Relations Act 2009.

As well as projects approved in previous financial years for funding in 2012–13, which were outlined in the 2011–12 annual report, achievements during the year included:

  • 47 Landcare projects, totalling $7.3 million, funded from the Landcare Appropriation under the Caring for our Country business plan 2012–13
  • 142 projects, worth $2.5 million, funded under the 2012–13 Community Action Grants.

The Australian Landcare Council continues to provide advice to government. The council works collaboratively with the community, farmers, Indigenous land managers and regional and urban groups to help develop sustainable natural resource management solutions.

The Australian Government continued its four-year, $33.6 million commitment (from 2009–10 to 2012–13) to Regional Landcare Facilitator positions in each of the natural resource management regions. The number of NRM regions in Australia was reduced from 56 to 54 because of the amalgamation of regional NRM organisations (Catchment Management Authorities) by the New South Wales State Government. Facilitators support community Landcare and production groups involved in sustainable farming practices and on- and off-farm natural resource management (see Program 1.2). These facilitators are also important in communicating the government’s Carbon Farming Initiative (see Program 1.1).

Funding continued through Caring for our Country for the National Landcare Facilitator. This role contributes to the overall Landcare infrastructure by providing a conduit for sharing information to the community, supporting and strengthening the Regional Landcare Facilitator network, promoting and evaluating the outcomes and achievements of Landcare, promoting the Landcare ethic and providing feedback to the government.

The Australian Landcare Council continues to provide advice to government. The council works collaboratively with the community, farmers, Indigenous land managers and regional and urban groups to help develop sustainable natural resource management solutions.

Throughout 2012–13, the Australian Government continued to support the Landcare movement to promote the Australian Framework for Landcare and Community Call for Action. The framework sets out the vision, main features, guiding principles and key elements of the Landcare approach, while the Community Call for Action is the framework’s implementation guide. With its ‘invitation to respond’ the Community Call for Action encourages stakeholders to publicly announce their commitment and their plans for action to support Landcare. It contains key messages and strategies from the community to strengthen the Landcare approach into the future.

The department, through Caring for our Country, continues to support Landcare Australia Limited to raise the profile of Landcare and enable Landcare and community-based groups to promote their activities and access funding for projects. Funding supports activities that promote the Landcare ethic and recognise and celebrate the achievements of the Landcare community, including community service announcements, the Landcare in Focus publication and the national, state and territory Landcare Awards.

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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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