darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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CHESTER PAYS TRIBUTE TO LANDCARE VOLUNTEERS

September 20, 2012

Federal Parliament has been warned to ‘never take Landcare for granted’ during a debate initiated by Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester.

The contribution of Landcare volunteers and recognition of National Landcare Week was central to the motion presented in Parliament by Mr Chester.

Mr Chester told Parliament that Gippsland was home to some of the most passionate and successful Landcare groups in the nation.

“We have people who have supported the Landcare movement for more than 20 years—virtually, since the day it was created in my electorate,” Mr Chester told Parliament.

“The Landcare groups have a great capacity to be innovative and creative and they are driven to achieve results and value for money.”

But he warned that the volunteer-based organisation should not be taken for granted by either side of politics.

“We need to keep investing in Landcare by funding facilitators and supporting practical environmental projects to ensure it thrives in the future,” Mr Chester said.

“Landcare is continuing to grow in my region with new groups forming, including a bit of a recent trend towards urban based Landcare groups where they have taken responsibility for maybe a section of river through the town or some other area of a public park.”

Mr Chester said it was critical that Landcare was supported by the government in the future.

“The beauty and the great success of Landcare is that it is a grassroots movement and it works best in partnerships with governments and government agencies and businesses in regional communities working together to leverage the maximum value out of every cent that is available to them,” Mr Chester said.

“Landcare can probably survive without much government assistance, but to maximise the social, economic and the environmental benefits it is important that State and Federal Governments continue to support the activities of the 100,000 volunteers who are willing to do their bit for our nation.”

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