Devolved Grant Program
The Meander Valley Council has recently concluded its Devolved N.R.M. Grant Project with funds provided by the Natural Heritage Trust. Running from March 2000 to September 2003, the project provided rural landholders with access to funding for the protection of remnant native vegetation, fencing of streams to control erosion and improve water quality, the provision of off-stream watering points for stock, salinity control works, and weed control for conservation areas. Strategic revegetation work was also undertaken over two seasons.
Community acceptance of the project rose to a high level once word got around of the benefits to both the environment and the farm, and staff in the N.R.M. Unit undertaking the administration made participation easier for proponents.
Some of the outputs from the project include:
- 217 fencing projects completed (119 km of fencing on rivers; 71 km around remnant vegetation).
- 1,354 Ha of remnant vegetation protected.
- 63 revegetation projects completed.
- 151 Ha of woody weeds removed or treated.
- 513 Ha of remnant vegetation facilitated into conservation covenants.
In addition, the N.R.M. Unit of the Meander Valley Council has produced, in association with the Natural Heritage Trust and other partners, the following reports:
- Regional Vegetation Management Strategy
- Satellite Woody Vegetation Monitoring Study
- Rural E.M. Salinity Study
- Prospect Vale Salinity Scoping Study
- Land Capability Survey
The council is currently participating in the formulation of a Northern Tasmanian Regional Natural Resource Management Strategy. The council is currently employing an N.R.M. Officer (Stuart Brownlea - Ph. (03) 6393 5321) to facilitate community and industry input into the regional strategy, as well as to continue promoting natural resource management through ongoing policy and strategy formulation within the council itself. It is hoped that once regional funding is more readily available the Meander Valley community will be well placed to further progress environmental programs. In the meantime, the Australian Government has provided the avenue of Envirofunds for individuals or groups to undertake small projects within a year. Interested parties should contact the Envirofund Unit on 1800 303 863, or visit their website at www.nht.gov.au.