April 9th: Peter and Christine Forster attended a Climate Change think tank at Horsham DPI sponsored by the Victorian Climate Change Adaptation Research Centre and hosted by Ballarat University and Wimmera Development Association. It was an opportunity to workshop research needs to assist climate change adaptation for dryland farming in the Wimmera Region.
April 15th: Briefing On Victorian Government’s Western Region Draft Sustainable Water Strategy at Warrnambool. The session included workshops on three themes including urban, rural and environmental/rural issues. Many attendees were concerned about the paucity of information on ground water systems and their overuse mostly for agriculture. Changed landuse affects on groundwater recharge and river health was also a major concern. Our submission on the Victorian draft Western Region Sustainable Water Strategy is on the web site at.
John Ive conducted my personal tour and I was very impressed with his meticulous record keeping and scientific approach to his farm management and dealing with serious salinity issues. Erosion has been controlled, saline tolerant perennial pastures planted on reclaimed areas, grazing controlled by fencing to slope,and aspect along with soil characteristics and a massive effort made to revegetate the higher slopes to reduce hilltop-recharge into ground water systems thereby addressing the primary cause of the salinity. Increased production is now concentrated on the lower more arable slopes and flats where salinity was formerly the limiting factor.
John was recently selected as a Climate Champion and a press release is attached. More detail is available at the evolving website: http://www.climatekelpie.com.au/
This natural resource research organization has been abolished. A Legacy Conference was held in Canberra mid May to celebrate achievements and capture key findings of many years of often cutting edge research into natural resource issues. Many researchers made succinct presentations over two days and John Kerin, former Federal Government Agriculture Minister was the key speaker at a dinner. All papers will be available soon and I will notify you of the web address.
A related matter of importance is the Productivity Commission enquiry into primary industry research and development organisations and the Government role in these organizations. EFN will be making a submission to this Enquiry and I would appreciate your input. Please check the website:
Submissions are due June 25th. I hope to have a draft out by end of May for comment.
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