Victoria’s Landcare networks could be forced to lay off their facilitators next year after the Andrews Labor Government failed to fund the positions.
The news comes as Landcare marks its 30th anniversary as a national organisation this week.
Member for Euroa Steph Ryan said The Nationals and the Liberals first funded Landcare facilitators in 2011.
“Landcare groups and networks now employ 79 part-time facilitators which support 60 percent of the 600 Landcare groups across Victoria,” Ms Ryan.
“Historically facilitators have been funded on a three-year cycle. The Landcare network was disappointed when this year the Andrews Government gave them only a year’s worth of funding.
“The government is reviewing Landcare’s funding and I fear it won’t continue to fund the network.
“Without continued funding, our great Landcare facilitators will be out of a job come July next year. Landcare is much more than environmental volunteerism. It’s about building strong, resilient communities that are proactive in managing the landscape.”
Ms Ryan said Landcare groups had done some incredible work across the Euroa electorate.
“Volunteers regularly step in to take action on the government’s failure to control weeds,” Ms Ryan said.
“As government departments have cut their frontline services, they have started to rely heavily on the expertise and knowledge of our local Landcare facilitators to keep them connected.
“During the drought conditions we have had in recent months, it has been Landcare that has been out on the ground helping people with practical advice and information.
“It is a real shame that, instead of supporting that work, Labor has delivered them savage cuts in this year’s budget.