December 2014
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Dear Reader

Seasons Greetings to all the readers of the Rangelands eNews!
 
Thank you for your support and contributions during 2014. Rangelands NRM staff would like to wish you a happy and safe holiday period and we look forward to working with you in 2015.
 
Regards

Teresa Belcher
Communications Manager
Rangelands NRM
 
 
 
 
(Nullarbor wombat image courtesy of V McQuie)
Contents
 Latest News
            Carbon and Climate Change
            Coastal Projects
            Landcare
            Desert Rangelands
            Biodiversity
            Other News
            Staff Profile
            Events
            Grants and Funding
[View Online]
  
 
Latest News

Eight WA rangelands groups receive 25th Anniversary Landcare grants

Almost 300 community groups and individuals across Australia, including eight from the rangelands of WA, will share in $5 million to enable communities to take practical action as part of the Australian Government's National Landcare Programme. Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, and Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, announced the successful projects under the 25th Anniversary Landcare Grants 2014-15 round on 18 December. [Read more]

Carbon and Climate Change

DeGrey Carbon Demonstration Project continues at pace

A taggle system and walk-over-weigher have now been commissioned, and extensive soil sampling for sequestered carbon has been undertaken at DeGrey Station in the Pilbara. This work is to complement the benchmark biomass sampling completed earlier this year, and as outlined in the June edition of eNews, is part of a large, multi-faceted cattle grazing trial being undertaken by the Bettini Family on their coastal northern Pilbara station, east of Port Hedland. [Read more]

 Pilbara Corridors

AusPlots sites initiated in the Pilbara

The Pilbara Corridors project is initiating AusPlots sites in the Fortescue catchment as part of a monitoring contribution to the national rangelands landscape. AusPlots sites will establish baseline surveys of vegetation and soils and take photographic records which will prove useful comparisons over time as the sites are monitored. [Read more]

Coastal Projects

Sea turtle monitoring underway at Gnaraloo

The Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program (GTCP) has commenced on-ground monitoring in the Gnaraloo Bay Rookery for the marine turtle nesting season 2014/15. Together with the Gnaraloo Feral Animal Control Program (GFACP), the GTCP aims to identify, monitor and protect coastal nesting rookeries of endangered marine turtles in Gnaraloo, a working pastoral station and wilderness tourism business located approximately 150 km north of Carnarvon in remote north-western Australia. [Read more]

 Landcare

The wonderful world of the Regional Landcare Facilitator

What's been happening in the wonderful world of landcare and the WA rangelands you say? Well, a lot actually! Our Regional Landcare Facilitator, Mez Clunies-Ross provides an update. [Read more]

Desert Rangelands

Martu addressing broad scale fires in the desert

Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJ) has been working with traditional owners to develop their capacity to address broad scale fires that have the potential to burn wildly across wide areas of the desert. KJ’s fire management officer Gareth Catt said there have been several years of above average rainfall, which has contributed to broad scale wildfires over the last few summers. [Read more]

Biodiversity

Pilbara’s freshwater wonders highlighted in film and field guide

The fish of the Pilbara and the threats to their survival have been detailed in a stunning film and comprehensive field guide by scientist Dr David Morgan, his team from Murdoch University’s Freshwater Fish Group and Fish Health Unit and ENVfusion Films. Among the native species profiled in the film and field guide are the Indian short-finned eel, freshwater sawfish, bull sharks and barramundi. Rare and previously unfilmed species like the blind gudgeon, which lives in caves within the Cape Range National Park near Exmouth, have been captured for the documentary which is now available to view on YouTube. [Read more]

East Kimberley rubber vine controlled as seed reserves dwindle

Rubber vine control in the East Kimberley may well have reached a watershed with the wind up of the 2014 control program. The noxious rubber vine Cryptostegia grandiflora is one of a number of Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) and ‘declared weed’ species that is being targeted in the region. [Read more]
Other News

New website shines light on sustainable farming trials

Hundreds of farmers from nearly all of WA’s agricultural regions have become part of a new website promoting sustainable farming research work undertaken on their farms. The AgTrialsSite website features 123 trials and on-site demonstrations coordinated by the State’s seven natural resource management groups. [Read more]

New Executive Officer to progress work of Biosecurity group

A newly-appointed Executive Office at the Meekatharra Rangelands Biosecurity Association (MRBA) will assist the group to move forward with vermin cell work and funding applications. At the MRBA Annual General Meeting on 24 November 2014, Chair Ashley Dowden announced that Geoff Brooks, former CEO of the Shire of Mount Magnet, would be employed full-time with the group for a period of five months. [Read more]
Staff Profile
Read more about the staff at Rangelands NRM
Events
11-17 February 2015 - Farming & Grazing for Profit Workshop, Perth. The RCS Farming & Grazing for Profit school is the Business School for Mixed Farming Enterprises. RCS is delivering a 6 1/2 day Farming & Grazing for Profit workshop in Perth which aims to give you the knowledge, principles and management tools needed to build a profitable and sustainable farming and grazing business. [More info

12-16 April 2015 - 18th Biennial Conference of the Australian Rangeland Society, Alice Springs. 'Innovation in the Rangelands' [More info]

Grants and Funding
Biosecurity Research and Development Fund 

The Boosting Biosecurity Defences Biosecurity R&D Fund provides funding for innovative solutions to better manage significant pests and diseases that impact on Western Australia's (WA) agriculture and agrifood industries. Up to $3.2 million is available over three years from April 2015. Each project is able to apply for between $50 000 and $500 000 per year, and projects must be completed by 31 December 2017. [More info]

Regional Event Funding

If you are organising a regional event you could be eligible to apply for a cash grant between $5,000 and $50,000 under Tourism WA’s Regional Events Scheme. These funds, made available by the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program, are for eligible events held between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016, that have the ability or potential to bring visitors to the region and involve the local community. Applications for the 2014-2015 Regional Events Scheme close at 5.00 pm on Monday 12 January 2015. [More info]

Drought Concessional Loans Scheme - applications open

Farm businesses in Western Australia can now access the Australian Government's Drought Concessional Loans Scheme. Drought Concessional Loans are now available to assist farm businesses recover from and prepare for future droughts and return to viability in the longer term. Under the scheme, the Australian Government will provide Western Australia with $20 million for the provision of Drought Concessional Loans in 2014-15. The scheme will close on 30 June 2015 or earlier if funds are fully committed. [More info]

This eNews is an initiative of the Rangelands NRM Coordinating Group which is supported by the Australian and WA State Governments.