Peel land care projects receive $12 million in nation-wide cash injection

Four projects aimed at protecting and fostering Peel-based native flora and fauna have secured more than $12 million from the federal government. 

Mandurah-based environmental group Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC) received the fifth largest cash injection in the federal government's $450 million Regional Landcare Program. 

Allocated to 195 new projects nation-wide, the funding pool was created to boost landcare initiatives through harnessing local knowledge and expertise to deliver "real outcomes in their communities".

Peel Harvey Catchment Council's secured funding will be delivered across the nest five years, through four seperate projects. 

Those projects include Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar Wetlands restoration efforts, consulting with Peel farmers to improvement soil practices, helping threatened Banksia Woodlands ecological communities and stabilising the trajectory of a threatened numbat species in Dryandra. 

Federal member for Canning Andrew Hastie congratulated the council on the acquisition. 

"We live in a beautiful part of the world. The Peel Region is a fantastic place to raise a family. This investment by the Morrison Government - the fifth biggest nationally under the Regional Landcare Program - will help keep it that way," Mr Hastie said. 

“Local organisations are best placed to deliver solutions, which is why the federal government is empowering the PHCC to deliver these important services.”

The Regional Land Partnerships is a core component of the government’s $1 billion investment under phase two of its National Landcare Program.

Peel's agricultural industry: Improving and protecting the condition of soil, biodiversity and vegetation in the Peel-Harvey region through engagement with farmers on land management practices is one of the four projects funded. Photo: PHCC.

Peel's agricultural industry: Improving and protecting the condition of soil, biodiversity and vegetation in the Peel-Harvey region through engagement with farmers on land management practices is one of the four projects funded. Photo: PHCC.

The council's chief executive officer Jane O'Malley said her team were "excited" to have secured the tender.

Ms O'Malley is one of 25 people working out of three offices within the Peel region. 

"Having the nation’s fifth highest allocation makes me really proud of our team," Mr O'Malley said. 

"We've worked very hard for a long time to understand the needs of our 1.12 million hectare surface water catchment, what actions need to be put in place to protect our magnificent assets and build strong partnerships to support action.

"The PHCC has excellent, recognised governance systems in place, a proven track record of quality delivery and community engagement, strong Noongar trust and participation, existing partnerships and an ability to value add to the government's investment with industry and other funding that has been secured.

"All of this really strengthened our tender bid."

Ms O'Malley said while the funding boost was great for the region, it also demonstrated that the Peel-Harvey was in a poor condition. 

She said it was clear the federal government recognised that the area was a natural asset and it was obligated to protect it.

"[We] really need some large scale injections of funding if we are going to avoid a further collapse of our Ramsar system and threatened species," Ms O'Malley said. 

We live in a beautiful part of the world. This investment by the Morrison Government - the fifth biggest nationally under the Regional Landcare Program - will help keep it that way.

Canning MP Andrew Hastie

She also said the organisation was "unashamedly" working to try to secure federal government election commitments.

The council is hoping to secure $20 million for waterways infrastructure, $1.85 million for state one of the Peel Waterways Institute, $4.6 million for a 10 year Noongar Rangers Program and $500,000 for a pilot scale trial "rescue mission" for Lake Clifton's thrombolites.

"The seven regions across WA are also pursuing state wide election commitments, $450 million to protect our South-West Biodiversity Hotspot and $680 million for drought resilience projects. These works are imperative if we want the benefits of tourism, jobs, productivity and profitability," Ms O'Malley said. 

Federal environment minister Melissa Price said the current projects that secured the funding had been targeted to achieve the best value for money.

“Of the investment under this program, $170 million will help protect and recover Australia’s threatened species and ecological communities,” Minister Price said.

"We’re also funding projects that will work towards restoring and managing identified threats to 24 globally-recognised Ramsar wetlands, and reducing threats to seven World Heritage areas across the country.

“We believe working in partnership with local communities delivers the best results, and this funding allows individual organisations to deliver projects tailored to the specific needs of those communities."

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said $70 million of the fund would go into sustainable agriculture projects.

“The projects bring good environmental and farming practices together to benefit both nature and agriculture. This project will boost farm productivity while improving habitat for native animals,” Minister Littleproud said.

A world for woodlands

Reducing threats to Banksia Woodland through land stewardship

This five year project will work with community and land managers to develop guiding actions to help meet Conservation Advice objectives.

Actions aimed at maintaining or improving extent and condition of Banksia Woodlands through increasing skills and knowledge of land managers, mapping the extent and condition of the area, reducing threats such as feral animals and diseases, revegetating and monitoring.

Farming, Fodder and Fauna

Improving and protecting the condition of soil, biodiversity and vegetation

This project works with farmers to protect, enhance and plant native vegetation on farms across the Peel-Harvey Region in two farming landscapes and three bioregions.

Farmers will be supported through technical advice, field days, on-farm surveys and on-ground support.

Wetlands and people

A community restoring the ecological character of the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar 482 Wetlands 

This projects looks at restoring 1000 hectare of the 26,530 hectare Peel-Yalgorup systems.

On-ground priority actions will address key threats and associated direct and indirect stresses placed on the wetlands. 

Momentum and support will be built through citizen science activities, filling vital gaps in knowledge on the condition of the site and integrating collaborative management including embedding Noogar cultural values.

Numbat neighbourhood

Supporting people to protect vulnerable Numbats in the wild

This project will help address the decline and improve the trajectory of Numbat numbers in the Peel-Harvey Catchment. 

Actions that will be implemented include weed and feral animal control methods, follow-up flora and fauna surveys, stakeholder engagement and targeted on the ground work with landholders. 

A numbat. Photo: Peel-Harvey Catchment Council.

A numbat. Photo: Peel-Harvey Catchment Council.

To read more about the work undertaken by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council visit their website or Facebook page

Follow Caitlyn Rintoul on Twitter via @caitlynrintoul