| November 23, 2017
Landcare helping Murray farmers boost productivity and protect biodiversity
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Luke Hartsuyker, and Member for Murray,
Damian Drum, today visited a farm in the Shepparton region to see how the $1 billion National
Landcare Program is helping farmers improve soil health, farm productivity and protect
Minister Hartsuyker said the Coalition Government is committed to assisting farmers tackle land
management issues effectively.
“One of the greatest incentives to protect our land is to ensure it is healthy and productive for the
next generation of farmers,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“Today I met David Cook, a self-employed farmer with a wheat, canola and faba bean rotation on
his 1105 hectare property.
“David radically changed his approach to farm management practices, after completing a Holistic
Management Short Course funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare
“After attending the course, David was motivated to buy cattle and graze his cover crops to boost
soil health. He also stopped growing monocultures, and is now growing multi-species or
companion crops across his entire property, and no longer uses artificial fertilisers.
“It is satisfying to see farmers benefiting from Landcare, and transforming farms into highly
successful business operations.”
Mr Drum said farmers face many challenges, and need to think innovatively to develop sustainable
“Farmers manage 61 per cent of Australia’s land, and the National Landcare Program arms those
on the agricultural frontline with the knowledge to combat agricultural challenges, including loss
of vegetation, soil degradation, changes in water quality and flows and the impact of pest animals
and weeds,” Mr Drum said.
“I am honoured to represent a community that has passionate and hardworking members like David Cook, who are striving to improve farming practices to protect this region’s vital agricultural sector.”
A further $1 billion will be available for the next phase of the National Landcare Program, with the majority of this investment to be delivered over five years from July 2018 to June 2023.
For more information on the National Landcare Program, visit nrm.gov.au/national-landcare-programme.