ACT Natural Resource Management's (NRM) Sustainable Agriculture program provides the following support to the ACT’s rural community:
- training and skill development
- funding to support on-ground works, trials and demonstrations
- building collaborative cross-farm, industry, cross tenure and cross-border partnerships to achieve shared goals.
ACT Regional Landcare Facilitator
The ACT Regional Landcare Facilitators (RLF) supports and assists Landcare and production groups to adopt sustainable farm and land management practices. They work with both the ACT and region rural community and the ACT volunteer urban Landcarer/ParkCarer community.
This program support communities through:
- building knowledge and skills through workshops, field days, farm walks and forums
- developing and assisting local networks
- communicating and sharing information (newsletters, website, social and print media).
The RLF is supported through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program
ACT NRM administers the ACT Rural Grants program ($447,000, 2013-18). This supports ACT rural landholders to implement projects on their farms which achieve sustainable agriculture outcomes on-the-ground. Funded through the National Landcare Program (ACT Regional Delivery), rural grants are provided through three competitive funding rounds, and provide:
a) Natural Resource Management advice - to assist landholders (individuals or groups) to take the leap from learning to doing, landholders have been supported to engage a specialist (such as an agronomist) to do a ‘farm visit’ and develop an action plan to improve sustainable practices on their farms. Examples include: farm planning to improve grazing management and drought preparedness, and farm biosecurity plans. This is also supported by our partner - Greening Australia.
b) On-ground works - to increase the adoption of sustainable farming activities – up to $10,000 for individual landholders; up to $50,000 for groups of landholders.
‘Note that this grant funding has now been fully allocated and there will be no further competitive rounds offered under this program’.
Southern ACT Biosecurity Initiative
Biosecurity – the management of risks to the economy, the environment, and the community, of pests and diseases entering, emerging, establishing or spreading - is a priority land management issue for the ACT.
The Southern ACT Biosecurity Initiative came about following concerns raised by landholders in the Paddys River Catchment in Southern ACT about the spread of the highly invasive and flammable, introduced weed species, African Lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula). The aim of the initiative is to support all landholders and land managers to improve biosecurity in this part of the ACT, with a particular initial focus on Lovegrass.
The first workshop, held in July 2015, was attended by more than 50 people, including local farmers, representatives from utility companies, government and other land managers. including NASA and the Land Development Agency. The workshop was hosted by ACT NRM, the ACT Regional Landcare Facilitator, Paddys River Landcare, the ACT Parks and Conservation Service and the Livestock Biosecurity Network.
Key achievements to date include:
- production of biosecurity gate signs and distribution to landholders, to alert visitors to potential biosecurity risks.
- improved protocols and practices around roadside mowing and weed management to reduce the spread of weeds.
If you want to be involved email us.
Rabbits cause significant damage to conservation, rural and urban lands in the ACT and their control is frequently required to protect high value sites and assets. Despite their potential impacts, little data is available about occurrence of rabbits across rural lands in the ACT.
The ACT Rabbit Project is supporting rural landholders in three pilot sites:
- Majura Valley
- Callum Brae/Jerrabomberra
These sites are all adjacent to high conservation value reserves. Collaborative cross-tenure rabbit control programs will be most effective in managing rabbits.
The project provides support for:
- landholders mapping rabbit warrens on their land using RabbitScan mobile phone apps and website
- seasonal spotlight counting of rabbits (and other feral animals) on rural lands to understand population dynamics and management implications
- AQFQ Chemical Use training for rural landholders to control rabbits
- A Best Practice Rabbit Control Field Day
- landholders and other land managers to develop and implement rabbit control projects
- release and monitoring of the new Korean strain of calicisvirus (RHDV1 K5) in the ACT.
This project is a collaboration between Majura, Callum Brae/Jerrabomberra and Pialligo landholders, ACT NRM, ACT Parks and Conservation Service, the Invasive Species Cooperative Research Centre, and the Australian Government, and is funded under the Established Pest Animals and Weeds Initiative, part of the Australian Government's Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. for further information contact ACTLandCare@act.gov.au.