Collaborative approach to land management needed

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is urging the Victorian Government to commit to its side of the Landcare pledge and start working with farmers again to help support and recognise the major role primary producers play in preserving and managing the local environment.

VFF Land Management Chair Gerry Leach said the recent plan to introduce dingoes into areas of Crown land goes against existing funding to eliminate wild dogs elsewhere in Victoria and demonstrates how far some decision makers have strayed away from the proper management of land.

“What was intended to be a working relationship between government and landholders to work together to undertake important work that was beneficial to both farms and the environment is now confused.”

“There’s a real urban community myth that Crown land is properly managed, and farmers are somewhat environmental vandals. Anyone who works the land will know this could not be further from the truth.”

Mr Leach says farmers need to know the government is committed to managing its land properly.

“Despite the ‘Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037’ plan recognising pests and weeds as a threat to biodiversity, there is very little funding to any Crown land manager to even meet their obligations under the Catchment and Land Protection Act.”

“The VFF has previously advocated for a $20 million funding allocation per annum to each Catchment Management Authority to undertake their duty to support private land holder action, but no funding was forthcoming.”

“If the government was serious about the risk of invasive species to biodiversity, biosecurity and the economy they would make every government land manager include in their Annual Report to Parliament how they have met their responsibilities to manage pest plants and animals under the Catchment and Land Protection Act.”

“It’s our responsibility as farmers to adequately manage pest weeds.”

“That job is only made harder when Crown land that is supposed to be properly maintained by the government is left to grow-out and weeds begin to set seed and invade the landscape.”

Source: VFF