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Building partnerships with Landcare

Group of attendees at a Landcare training eventFollowing the signing of a Partnership Agreement between North Coast Local Land Services and North Coast Regional Landcare earlier this year, Local Land Services and Landcare NSW have entered into a statewide Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will further strengthen the partnership between the two organisations.

The North Coast Landcare Partnership Agreement, which has been operating for six months, is ensuring that both organisations work collaboratively to achieve outcomes for our communities, landscapes and seascapes and the statewide Memorandum of Understanding will ensure that a similar collaboration works for the benefit of all communities and landscapes throughout NSW.

North Coast Local Land Services has a strong network of long-standing partnerships established across the North Coast region and continually works to develop new and strengthen existing partnerships. 

North Coast Local Land Services supports a community-based delivery model by partnering with Landcare and other organisations across the region to support the community to undertake natural resource management and sustainable agriculture activities.

Landcare makes a considerable contribution to natural resource management and sustainable agriculture on public and private land, across a wide range of land-uses. Landcare also provides an extensive network and support structure to support the community to address catchment, district, regional and state level issues.

Royce Bennett, Manager Land Services for North Coast Local Land Services said, "With local knowledge and a collective understanding of the unique features and challenges of the north coast region, the North Coast Local Land Services team supports the community to build healthy lifestyles, landscapes and livelihoods. 

"We are gaining real benefits from our partnership agreement with Landcare on the North Coast and it is pleasing to see those benefits now extending across the state," he said.

The Statewide MoU was signed by Acting Chair of the Local Land Services Board of Chairs, Alex Anthony and Chair of Landcare NSW, Rob Dulhunty.

Mrs Alex Anthony said of the Memorandum of Understanding, "The NSW Government is committed to improved management of our natural environment and to work closely with the Landcare movement to build community capacity and resilience.

"This MoU signals a stronger government and community partnership that will allow flexibility for each region to recognise the unique attributes of the local environment and to incorporate the desires of the local people.

"Landcare groups, whether in rural, regional or urban areas, provide a valuable focus for natural resource management, but also for social networking.  They are built from a volunteer base and we know that these kinds of volunteer organisations are the fabric of our society, particularly in remote and rural NSW.

Mrs Anthony said the MoU would provide a framework for a productive partnership that builds the capacity of both Landcare NSW and Local Land Services, while continuing to allow local communities to take the lead.

Mr Dulhunty said the MoU recognises the benefits and opportunities of a government/community partnership and its effectiveness will be dependent upon its implementation. 

"The MoU states that enabling a central role for community is critical to achieving successful outcomes in NRM and sustainable agriculture," he said.  

"This MoU puts us onto an equal footing with our government partners, providing a framework for us to share responsibility, co-invest and apply our complementary strengths."

The signing of the MoU follows the announcement this week by Mr Niall Blair of a $15 million Landcare Support Program over the next four years.

The program will see up to 60 part-time Landcare coordinators engaged to work with communities throughout NSW, as well as the establishment of a Landcare Future Fund and Community of Practice to provide centralised training and support.

Full details of the $15 million Landcare Support Program announced this week are available on the North Coast Local Land Services website www.northcoast.lls.nsw.gov.au.

North Coast Local Land Services Media Contact:
Michelle Gapes Phone 0429 824 321

Statewide Local Land Services Media Contact:
Maree Barnes Phone 0427 256 814 

Photo caption:
One of the many outcomes of the Partnership will be ongoing events with a focus on farm skills and knowledge.