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Tasmanian Landcare Awards 2015

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Tags: Environment

Ms WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Madam Speaker, I rise this evening to talk about the Tasmanian Landcare Awards 2015. I went to the awards presentation dinner the other night in Huonville and it was a fantastic event. A huge number of people turned up; it was a very big do. These happen every two years and this year was fortunately catered for by the staff and trainees of the Huonville Trade Training Centre who did an amazing job providing dinner for at least 80, maybe 100, people. It was all catered for by local Huon Valley produce, which was exceptional. The emcee for the evening was none other than ABC Gardening Australia's Costa, who made us aware of how special it is to live in Tasmania. He MCs at events regularly all around Australia and was really blown away, honestly so I believe, by the quality of the produce we were able to have on the table in front of us. It is good to have that validation, I suppose. We all appreciate the food we eat and have available down here.

What I really wanted to talk about was the Landcare movement. It is a volunteer movement all about local people looking after their patch. These are people who come together either in Landcare, Coastcare, Wildcare or Bushcare or friends of a region groups. They are local people in the community concerned about soil health, water quality, wildlife habitat, or they just like gardening and weeding and caring about places and spending time together. The vibe I got from that room full of people was truly extraordinary. It was invigorating to see not just a bunch of people in the older age group, like those of use in this room primarily are, but to see people in their 20s and 30s out there continuing the next generation of people caring about the place they live in.

I wanted to make mention of a couple of the award recipients. I do not have time to speak to all of them but the Australian Government Individual Landcare Award for Tasmania went to Amanda Cole. Amanda Cole joined the Understorey Network as a volunteer 10 years ago and has worked in many roles. Many people mention her as a person who always says yes, whatever the work. She does not ask, she just says yes. She represents a type of person in this community who does the hard work and keeps these places we love regenerating, free of weeds, and also coordinating other people in the community to do that work, unpaid. She has been involved at the statewide level in a volunteer-based environmental non-government organisation. She also worked at a nursery in Tolosa Park in 2007 and has done some work with the disability support organisation Life Without Barriers.

The second award recipient I wanted to mention was that for a local or regional authority which has shown innovation and excellence in partnershipping with the Landcare community. That award went to the South East Regional Shore Bird Alliance. They are an informal alliance with people from NRM South, Glamorgan-Spring Bay, Tasman, Sorell, Clarence, Kingborough and Huon Valley councils and also with Crown Land Services, the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, and Bird Life Tasmania, who is a key partner. They are an example of an extraordinary alliance across many different groups - government and non-government. They have been working together to protect the beach-nesting shore birds, particularly the threatened species of terns, hooded plovers, beach-nesting seabirds and the little penguins. They have supported community efforts across coastal southern Tasmania to raise understanding amongst the community about how people can be involved on the ground and to raise people's understanding about the sorts of environmental conditions and human behaviours that threaten shore birds. They were a very good awardee.

Finally, I would like to mention the Junior Landcare award recipient. This award was made to a young Landcare team that contributes to raising awareness, knowledge and understanding of land care amongst young people up to the age of 18. The award this year for Tasmania went to the Huon Valley's Roamers Landcare Group which was formed in January 2014 by a small group of people who have been working in the land care and the NRM field in the south. They particularly wanted to support to young people of the Huon Valley who are passionate about caring for the environment but who might be time-poor. They wanted to give them a hand to participate in Landcare without needing to participate in committee work - and not everybody loves committees. The Roamers have a group of six volunteers, half of whom are under 35, and the junior Roamers are the children of the volunteers now growing up into an active group of young people who contribute to this activity.

It was incredibly heartening to see the vibrancy across the Landcare sector in Tasmania represented by the people who are able to come to the awards and to hear about the work that has been done across the community. I commend this report to this House. It is the report of the Landcare Awards, and invite people to get online if they would like to read more.