Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
Senator the Hon. Joe Ludwig
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Hon. Dr Mike Kelly MP
Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Ministers welcome review of Caring for our Country
Joint media release
7 March 2011
Australians involved in managing our natural resources have been invited to have their say on the future of Caring for our Country.
Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Tony Burke, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, and Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Dr Mike Kelly today welcomed the release of a discussion paper on Australian Government investment in natural resource management.
"This discussion paper aims to start a conversation about Caring for our Country to help inform a review of the initiative," Minister Burke said.
"In reviewing Caring for our Country, we are considering the efficiency, effectiveness and appropriateness of the initiative and options for future delivery," Minister Ludwig said.
Under Caring for our Country, the Government is investing $2 billion over five years to achieve environments that are healthy, better protected and support sustainable production in a changing climate.
Since 2008, over $1.7 billion has been committed to support new projects involving farmers, Indigenous groups, regional natural resource management organisations, Landcare and other volunteer environmental groups across Australia.
"We have made significant achievements in the first three years including enhancing the connectivity of native habitats and ecological communities, improving the water quality of runoff into the Great Barrier Reef through Reef Rescue, expanding the Indigenous Protected Area network and employing hundreds of new Indigenous rangers," Minister Burke said.
"Landcare, through Caring for our Country, is an important means by which landholders, businesses and communities can be involved in the sustainable management of our environment and natural resources, as such it is important that we work towards re-energising the program. I encourage all relevant communities to participate in the review," said Dr Kelly.
Minister Ludwig said through Caring for our Country a national network of regional Landcare facilitators has been established, progress has been made against combating the destructive impacts of cane toads and camels, and there have been improvements in sustainable farm practices across the country.
"As the initiative approaches the midpoint of its current funding cycle, it is important that we receive the views of our stakeholders and discuss how Caring for our Country is meeting its objectives," Minister Ludwig said.
The Caring for our Country discussion paper is available at www.nrm.gov.au/thereview.