Member for Euroa Steph Ryan says a new target to plant one million new trees over the next 12 months must be accompanied by funding for Victoria’s Landcare facilitators.
The Nationals released a roadmap last week outlining constructive, positive suggestions for how the Andrews Government could help communities in the wake of COVID-19.
The plan called on the government to adopt a target to plant one million new trees over the next 12 months as well as extending funding for Landcare and the expansion of support to community organisations or disability support employers to grow, plant and care for trees.
Ms Ryan said funding for Landcare facilitators is due to run out in June this year, and the Andrews Government had refused to provide clarity on their future.
“Landcare volunteers are at the heart of environmental initiatives to tackle problems like weeds and erosion and to increase biodiversity and the sustainable management of our landscapes.
“Landcare needs to be properly funded by the Andrews Government if we are to meet an ambitious target to plant one million trees over the next 12 months.
“Landcare facilitators support thousands of volunteer Landcare groups across Victoria who undertake practical projects to improve the environment.
“The Landcare program has been one of the most successful environmental collaborations this country has seen, and our Landcare groups and networks have done fantastic work throughout country Victoria.
“Their works include projects like re-vegetating denuded and eroded landscapes, protecting rivers and streams, improving farm productivity and working with other agencies to deliver practical work on the ground.
“So much of this work is only able to be delivered due to the hard work of facilitators and the Andrews Labor Government must guarantee that it will fund those efforts on an ongoing basis.”