Appendix 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, this approach supported the Sustainable Agriculture component of the National Landcare Programme. 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 2014–15 appropriations funded under the Act totalled $13.68 million, comprising $11.91 million of administered funds from the Caring for our Country—Landcare appropriation and the balance in departmental funding. Appropriations in 2013–14 were $19.26 million.
Section 11 of the Act established the Natural Resources Management special account and allowed $11.91 million of administered funds to be paid into the special account to cover agreements made under Section 6 . In addition, funds from 2013–14 were carried forward in the special account.
In 2014–15, $23.13 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 for funding in previous financial years , which were outlined in the 2013–14 annual report, project funding provided in 2014–15 included:
- $0.60 million to assist OceanWatch to become recognised as Australia’s 55th NRM region.
- $0.49 million to build on the success of the National Information Nucleus Program and Meat and Livestock Australia’s Genomic Resource Flock, and deliver better on-farm decision-making on stocking rates for both the sheep and cattle industries, leading to increased returns at the farm-gate.
- $0.96 million to support Landcare Australia Limited activities including the National Landcare Conference, community awareness activities for the Landcare community and publishing a technical insert in the Rural Press.
- $0.13 million for a Young Farmers Forum targeting young farmers and rural industry professionals aged 18–35 from different regions, industries and roles. The forum will help identify, engage and create a network of future agricultural leaders and will be designed to draw out themes outlined in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.