Landcare is a unique grass-roots movement that started in the 1980s through initiatives to tackle degradation of farmland, public land and waterways. The movement has expanded and evolved significantly since then, and is achieving results Australia-wide. Individuals and groups across Australia’s vast and varied landscape are focused on best-practice sustainable agriculture and expert management of natural assets such as soil, water and native vegetation.
Caring for the land includes a range of activities such as:
- sustainable farm practices
- restoring native habitats and revegetation
- controlling weeds and pests
- developing and sharing local natural resource management skills and knowledge.
The movement includes Landcare groups, farming systems groups, ‘Friends of’ groups and Indigenous land management groups. It is estimated there are 5 400 groups and over 100 000 volunteers across Australia caring for the land. Many farmers and landholders also undertake this important work but are not affiliated with a particular Landcare group.We all have a role in looking after ‘our patch’ to ensure the land and water we use for agriculture and our natural environment is healthy and sustainable.
The Australian Government’s investment in Landcare provides support at the national, regional and local level.
How do I get involved in Landcare?
The Landcare movement is built on Australians who donate their time, money and knowledge to deliver sustainable agriculture and environmental outcomes across Australian landscapes. Getting involved is easy and rewarding.
Land holders and farmers
With approximately 58 per cent of Australia’s land privately owned or leased for agricultural production, sustainable management and farm practices are key to the long-term viability of our primary industries.
Landcare provides support to farmers and fishers across Australia, to assist them to adopt sustainable practices delivering productivity and environmental outcomes. It is estimated that there are 123 000 farmers in Australia and 11 500 people are employed in Australia’s commercial fishing and aquaculture industry (ABS 2015).Hundreds of sustainable production groups also operate in Australia, demonstrating the Landcare ethic and working towards sustainable agriculture outcomes.
It is estimated there are more than 6 000 Landcare, Coastcare, Bushcare, Rivercare and other related community and farmer groups in Australia. Joining a Landcare or related group helps them to sustain their activities and opens you up to a diverse network of like-minded people including land managers, Indigenous groups, students and urban residents.
As an individual there are plenty of ways you can be involved in Landcare. These include:
- sharing your knowledge of sustainable agriculture and land management practices with others in your community
- taking Landcare principles into account everyday by:
- using water efficiently
- planting native plants in your garden
- making decisions about purchases at the supermarket based on where and how a food item has been produced
- considering making a tax deductible donation to Landcare groups through Landcare Australia Limited
The Regional Landcare Facilitator network is a great place to start looking for like-minded individuals in your region or you might like to contact one of the following state/territory bodies.
- National Landcare Network
- Victorian Landcare Council
- Victorian Landcare Network
- Farm Tree & Landcare Association
- Landcare Tasmania
- Queensland Water and Land Carers
- Landcare Queensland Foundation
- Landcare Association of South Australia
- Australian Capital Territory Landcare
- Landcare New South Wales
Landcare Australia Limited can also help you find your local Landcare group.
For farmers, sustainable production groups for your industry can be located through any of the avenues mentioned above. You may also wish to contact the Australian Government Sustainable Agriculture Facilitator located in your state as a starting point to finding more information or groups in your local area relevant to your industry.