Australian Landcare Council Annual Report 2012-13

​​Contents

Letter of transmittal

Australian Landcare Council

Membership of the Council

  • Constitution
  • Chair and members
  • Deputies
  • Observers

Council Operations

  • Secretariat
  • Council meetings
  • Council and working group attendance
  • Field trips
  • Working groups
  • Advice to government
  • Work plan
  • Research reports
  • Community call for action
  • Representation
  • Chair activities
  • Member activities

Council Expenditure

  • Remuneration and allowances
  • Expenditure

Letter of transmittal

The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP
Minister for Agriculture
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Minister
In accordance with section 27 of the Natural Resources Management (Financial Assistance) Act 1992, I present to you the annual report of the Australian Landcare Council for the year ending 30 June 2013.

This annual report outlines the functions, priority activities, membership, operations and expenditure of the council for 2012–13.

Yours sincerely

[signed]

Ian Thompson

First Assistant Secretary
Sustainable Resources Management Division

April 2014

The Australian Landcare Council

The Australian Landcare Council is the Australian Government’s independent advisory body on Landcare and natural resource management.

The council was established in July 1997 by amendment to section 13(1) of the Natural Resources Management (Financial Assistance) Act 1992 (the Act).

The primary objective of the Act is to facilitate the development and implementation of integrated approaches to natural resource management to achieve efficient, sustainable and equitable management that is consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development. The functions of the council, as identified in the Act, are to:

  • make recommendations to the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for the Environment on matters concerning natural resource management and priorities and strategies for natural resource management
  • investigate and report to the Australian Government on matters concerning natural resource management referred to it by either of these ministers.

The council also has an important communication role between the Australian Government and the Landcare community, who play a major role in raising awareness, influencing farming and land management practices and delivering environmental outcomes across Australian landscapes.

Membership of the Council

Constitution

The constitution of the Australian Landcare Council is prescribed in section 14 of the Act. Under its constitution the council is to consist of at least 12 members appointed by the Minister for Agriculture for a period not exceeding three years.

Members must have experience in or special knowledge of any aspect of natural resource management. The minister must ensure that the majority of members are not employed by the Australian, state or territory governments.

The council chair is appointed by the minister in accordance with section 19 of the Act. The chair must not be an individual employed under the Public Service Act 1999 and the appointment may be terminated at any time. If a person’s appointment as chair is terminated, the person also ceases to be a member of the council.

Four new members were appointed in 2012: Mr Ron Archer, Ms Jackie Jarvis, Ms Kate Jones and Ms Lynne Strong.

Chair and members

 
Chair Appointed State
 
The Hon. Kim Chance* 6 January 2010 Western Australia
 
Member Term State
Ms Kate Andrews 6 July 2010 – 5 July 2013 Northern Territory
Mr Ron Archer 7 December 2012 – 6 December 2015 Queensland
Prof. Snow Barlow 15 April 2010 – 14 April 2013 Victoria
Dr Pamela Brook** 15 April 2010 – 14 April 2013 New South Wales
Ms Alexandra Gartmann 15 April 2010 – 14 April 2013 Victoria
Dr Judy Henderson AO 15 April 2010 – 14 April 2013 New South Wales
Dr Rosemary Hill 6 July 2010 – 6 July 2013 Queensland
Mrs Jackie Jarvis 12 October 2012 – 11 October 2015 Western Australia
Ms Kate Jones 12 October 2012 – 11 October 2015 Queensland
Mr Jock Laurie 15 April 2010 – 14 April 2013 New South Wales
Ms Banduk Marika 6 July 2010 – 5 July 2013 Northern Territory
Ms Ella Maesepp 27 May 2011 – 30 June 2013 Western Australia
Ms Keelen Mailman 27 May 2011 – 30 June 2013 Queensland
Mr John McQuilten 15 April 2010 – 14 April 2013 Victoria
Mr Dennis Mutton 6 July 2010 – 5 July 2013 South Australia
Ms Vicki-Jo Russell AM 15 April 2010 – 14 April 2013 South Australia
Ms Sharon Starick 15 April 2010 – 14 April 2013 South Australia
Mr Andrew Stewart 15 April 2010 – 14 April 2013 Victoria
Ms Lynne Strong 12 October 2012 – 11 October 2014 New South Wales
Mr James Walch 15 April 2010 – 14 April 2013 Tasmania

* The Minister for Agriculture accepted the Hon. Kim Chance’s resignation in February 2013.
** The Minister for Agriculture accepted Dr Pamela Brook’s resignation in March 2013.

Deputies

The Act allows a member, with the approval of the Minister for Agriculture, to appoint a person to be the deputy of the member. The deputy of a member attends council meetings in the absence of the member.

Mr James Street continued as Mr Jock Laurie’s deputy for meetings Mr Laurie was unable to attend.

Observers

Mr Brett de Hayr, the National Landcare Facilitator, and Ms Heather Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of Landcare Australia Limited, attended council meetings as observers.

Council Operations

Secretariat

Secretariat services, including maintenance of the Australian Landcare Council’s website, are provided by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.

Council meetings

The council met three times during 2012–13:

Meeting 53: 6–7 September 2012 (Sydney)
Meeting 54: 5–7 November 2012 (Katanning, Western Australia)
Meeting 55: 18–19 March 2013 (Canberra)

A summary for each meeting is available from the council’s website.

Council and working group attendance

The following table details the number of meetings attended by each member during 2012–13.
 

ALC
53–55>

IWG >

MBWG>

CCFA WG>

Other>

Number of meetings held >

3>

2>

2>

3>

 >

 

Role

 >

 >

 >

 >

 >

Kim Chance*

Chair

1>

 >

 >

 >

 >

Kate Andrews

IWG convener, MBWG

2>

2>

2>

 >

 >

Ron Archer

 

1>

 >

 >

 >

 >

Snow Barlow

CCWG

3>

 >

 >

 >

1>

Pamela Brook**

 

2>

 >

 >

 >

1>

Alexandra Gartmann

CCWG convener

3>

 >

1>

1>

2>

Judy Henderson

 

3>

 >

 >

1>

 >

Rosemary Hill

IWG, MBWG

2>

 >

1>

 >

 >

Jackie Jarvis

 

1>

 >

 >

 >

1>

Kate Jones

 

2>

 >

 >

 >

 >

Ella Maesepp

NLC

3>

 >

 >

 >

1>

Keelen Mailman

IWG

1>

 >

 

 

 

Banduk Marika

IWG

0>

 >

 >

 >

 >

Dennis Mutton

CCWG, MBWG

3>

 >

2>

 >

 >

John McQuilten

IWG

3>

2>

 >

 >

 >

Jock Laurie

 

0>

 >

 >

 >

 >

Vicki-Jo Russell

Communications convener,
MBWG

3>

 >

1>

 >

1>

Andrew Stewart

FarmStay

3>

 >

 >

 >

2>

Sharon Starick

CCWG

3>

 >

 >

2>

1>

Lynne Strong

CCFA

1>

 >

 >

2>

 >

James Walch

CCWG

2>

 >

 >

 >

1>

James Street

Deputy for Mr Laurie

2>

n/a>

n/a >

n/a >

1>

* The Minister for Agriculture accepted the Hon. Kim Chance’s resignation in February 2013.
** The Minister for Agriculture accepted Dr Pamela Brook’s resignation in March 2013.

Key

IWG: Indigenous Working Group
MBWG: Multiple Benefits of Landcare and NRM Project Working Group
CCWG: Climate Change Working Group
Other: Other ad hoc working groups to develop ideas and submissions including: submission to National Farmers’ Federation Blueprint for Australian Agriculture, Climate Change Working Group, Community Call for Action Working Group, Communications Working Group, Farmstay for Landcare.

Field trips

Australian Landcare Council meetings alternate between Canberra and a regional location. Each regional meeting includes a field trip to meet with local Landcarers, volunteers from community-based groups, Indigenous communities and farmers demonstrating sustainable farming practices and undertaking environmental rehabilitation and protection works.

The 54th meeting of the council was held in Katanning, Western Australia, in November 2012. As part of this meeting the council undertook a field trip to a diverse range of sites in the Blackwood River Basin area. Council members met with farmers, small landholders, local Landcarers and other community volunteers who were engaged in a wide range of Landcare projects.

The field trip highlighted many local issues that had national resonance and reinforced to the council the multiple benefits of Landcare, the advantages of paid Landcare support staff and the importance of whole-of-farm planning and landscape management. Detailed insights were provided to the Minister for Agriculture following the meeting.

Working groups

The Australian Landcare Council currently has two standing working groups: climate change and Indigenous. The Climate Change Working Group provides advice on climate change programs and policies, including communication, extension and training requirements for land managers and the community. During the year the working group included Ms Alexandra Gartmann (convenor), Professor Snow Barlow, Ms Sharon Starick, Mr Dennis Mutton and Mr James Walch.

The Indigenous Working Group provides advice on Indigenous programs and policies that improve Indigenous participation in natural resource management. The group—consisting of Ms Kate Andrews (convener), Dr Rosemary Hill, Ms Keelen Mailman and Mr John McQuilten—identifies barriers, opportunities and strategies to link non-Indigenous and Indigenous groups who are working to deliver natural resource management outcomes.

The council’s climate change and Indigenous working groups initiated two research projects during this year to collate information that will inform council’s advice on the following:

  • the successes and barriers identified in association with Indigenous land management in Australia
  • the multiple benefits and outcomes of NRM and Landcare, which go beyond production and environmental outcomes to social, cultural, economic, health, education and community resilience outcomes.

Several temporary working groups were also established during 2012–13 and were tasked with:

  • developing the council’s response to the Community Call for Action (lead by Ms Starick)
  • progressing the communication and promotion of the Community Call for Action (led by Ms Strong)
  • overseeing the finalisation of the Multiple Benefits of Landcare and NRM Project (led by Mr Mutton)
  • progressing the development of a communication strategy for the council (led by Ms Russell)
  • preparing a submission to the National Farmers’ Federation Blueprint for Australian Agriculture (led by Ms Starick).

Submissions can be found on the council’s webpage.

Advice to government

The Australian Landcare Council finalised advice requested by the Minister for Agriculture on the following seven Landcare and natural resource management issues:

  • enhance the regional delivery model to better incorporate and support Landcare groups (including sustainable production groups) to deliver improved sustainable farm and land practice outcomes
  • action or support required that could be undertaken to improve volunteer recruitment and retention
  • arrangements to better engage Indigenous people in natural resource management
  • action and support that is needed to assist farmers to prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change and on the best approach to engage the Landcare movement in this issue
  • Caring for our Country and improvements that could be made for future natural resource management programs
  • encouraging groups to report on what they have achieved and to share their stories
  • the role Landcare plays in the resilience of regional and remote communities.

Research reports

Multiple benefits of Landcare

In 2012 the Australian Landcare Council commissioned the Multiple Benefits of Landcare and Natural Resource Management Project to inform its advice to the government. The project was initiated as council members recognised that Landcare and natural resource management can lead to benefits beyond the agricultural and environmental areas. These benefits spread across the social, cultural, economic, education and health sectors and combined to contribute to resilient Australian communities.

The council hopes that as the evidence base develops and understanding of the multiple benefits of Landcare and natural resource management grows, a strong case will emerge for increased investment and co-investment in Landcare and natural resource management, and for greater collaboration across government portfolios and the various sectors of the community.

Indigenous land management

In 2012 the council also commissioned a research project to investigate the successes and barriers to Indigenous land management in Australia. This report identified good practice for successful Indigenous land management initiatives and recognises that investment in Indigenous land management contributes to closing the gap in health and socio-economic status of Indigenous communities. The report contributes to the capacity of Landcare by understanding the extent, scope and diversity of Indigenous land management across Australia and the barriers and key success factors.

These reports can be found on the council’s webpage.

Community Call for Action

A highlight for the Australian Landcare Council in 2012–13 was the finalisation and launch of the Community Call for Action, prepared on behalf of the Landcare community. This document was presented to the Landcare community at the welcome function of the National Landcare Conference in September 2012.

The Community Call for Action is the companion document and implementation guide for the Australian Framework for Landcare and presents key strategies identified by the community to strengthen the Landcare approach into the future.

The Community Call for Action supports the implementation of the Australian Framework for Landcare and is a guide for stakeholders and prospective partners—including industry, corporations, governments at all levels, and regional and catchment organisations—on how they can engage with Landcarers and support Landcare into the future.

The Community Call for Action calls for all Landcare stakeholders to respond by developing and making available via the council’s webpage their own complementary strategies.

The council will work closely with the Australian Government to identity opportunities to help the community fulfil its objectives including building relationships and encouraging stakeholders to develop and implement their response strategies.

The council’s response to the Community Call for Action was also endorsed at the council’s 55th meeting. The response identifies how the council will engage with and support Landcare into the future, including encouraging and managing responses from other stakeholders.

The Australian Framework for Landcare and the Community Call for Action.

Representation

Chair activities

In September 2012 the chair of the Australian Landcare Council, the Hon. Kim Chance, represented the council at a Landcare stakeholder meeting with the then Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon. Joe Ludwig, to discuss Landcare under the next phase of Caring for our Country.

In his capacity as acting chair, Mr Dennis Mutton met with the then Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon. Joe Ludwig, and representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Mr Mutton also participated in the Caring for our Country National Moderating Panel of the Regional Delivery.

In September 2012 Mr Mutton also represented the council at a ministerial roundtable to discuss the Sustainable Agriculture stream of the next phase of Caring for our Country.

Member activities

Australian Landcare Council members represented the council at a number of forums throughout the year, including:

  • Ms Andrews and Mr McQuilten attended the annual general meetings of the Kimberley Land Council, Kimberley Language Resource Centre and Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Cultural Centre in September 2012.
  • Professor Barlow attended the National Farmers’ Federation Congress in October 2012 in Canberra.
  • Ms Andrews attended the inaugural World Indigenous Network Conference in Darwin in May 2013.
  • Ms Maesepp presented at the North East Catchment Management Authority Landcare Forum in June 2013.
  • Ms Maesepp and Ms Russell attended National Landcare Network meetings in Adelaide and Perth respectively.

Council Expenditure

Remuneration and allowances

In accordance with the Act each Australian Landcare Council member who is not employed by the Australian, state or territory governments is to be paid remuneration as determined by the Remuneration Tribunal (the tribunal). If no determination is in operation, members are to be paid such remuneration as is prescribed.

As no specific determination has been made by the tribunal in respect to council members, the minister agreed that council members be paid sitting fees and allowances determined by the tribunal for ‘officers not specified’ at the category two level.

Expenditure

Section 11(5) of the Act provides that expenses incurred by the Australian Landcare Council in the performance of its function are paid from the Natural Resources Management Account administered by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.

Actual expenditure for the council for 2012–13 was $413 171.80.

Council expenditure 2012–13

Category>

Expenditure ($)>

Sitting fees (incl. superannuation)

$115 537.92

Domestic travel (incl. travel allowance)

$185 702.20

Meeting support costs incl. venue hire and business catering

$19 018.52

Research project (Multiple Benefits)

$72 683.19

Facilitator

$5 500.00

Printing/distribution of publications

$14 730.00

Total>

$413 171.80>

Last reviewed: 22 April 2021
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