November 16, 2009
Mr CHESTER (Gippsland) (6.55 pm) — I rise to highlight my concerns with the federal government’s failure to commit to ongoing funding for Landcare facilitators in the Gippsland region. It is an issue that I have raised previously and directly with the minister responsible, and I will continue to raise it at every opportunity.
It is my understanding that the community of East Gippsland undertook a rally on the weekend, where a large number of residents came to express their concerns with the government’s failure to commit to practical environmental works as seen through the Landcare Network. Over the past 20 years we have enjoyed a great tradition in our nation of bipartisan support for Landcare, and it concerns me deeply that the current minister fails to understand how important it is to support these people at grassroots level who are doing the practical work that is required—work on reducing the impact of feral animals; work on improving the vegetation of the region. I encourage the government to keep funding Landcare.