11 August 2021
Statements by Senators
[by video link] Last Thursday, Australia’s most dedicated and passionate Landcarers were given recognition in front of over 2,400 attendees online at the National Landcare Awards. Landcare champion Costa Georgiadis was uplifting in his role as MC, particularly in a year that has been a challenging one for the Landcare community. Having been postponed due to the pandemic last year, the event was shifted online to provide Landcarers with an opportunity to gather online to celebrate both individual and collective achievements of the community.
As co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Landcare, I was delighted to have been invited to present the Coastcare Award to the Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation from the Northern Territory. The group was recognised for its work protecting 70 kilometres of beaches tarnished by marine debris within their Indigenous protected area. An important nesting habitat for marine wildlife, the once pristine coastline is being inundated with some of the highest densities of plastic rubbish in the world.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of this year’s other Landcare champions and finalists. In particular, I’d like to make special mention of Victorian farmer Andrew Stewart, who won the Bob Hawke Landcare Award. The Corangamite landholder’s environmental and sustainable agricultural advancements included increasing woody vegetation on the Yan Yan Gurt West Farm by planting 50,000 trees and shrubs and bringing more than 5,000 people to the property to educate them about sustainable land management practices.
For over 30 years, Landcare has played a leading role in advocating a balance between sustainable land management practices and environmental conversation. The Parliamentary Friends of Landcare looks forward to continuing to work with our many Landcarers around the country and supporting these important traditions.