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Koori Work Crew making significant contribution on the Far South Coast

February 2018

The South East Local Land Services Koori Work Crew is making significant grounds in enhancing biodiversity and protecting investments in the Bega Valley.

The crew has been in operation for the past five years and has become a regular sight across farms in the Bega Valley. They were initially funded through the Australian Governments Biodiversity Fund Program. Their worth has been so valued that their funding has continued through the National Landcare Program and Bega Cheese over the 2017-2018 financial year. The three person crew plus a crew leader are contracted through the Bega Local Aboriginal Land Council to undertake a range of natural resource management activities across the Bega region.

The crew undertakes maintenance activities such as weed spraying in revegetation sites; watering, replanting and fencing to protect past investment and to support landholders and community groups achieve high quality rehabilitation outcomes.

The crew also assists in strategic weed control programs (e.g. crofton weed in priority river corridors), provide support to biosecurity staff (e.g. assistance livestock inspections) and participate in cultural activities including cultural burning to manage native vegetation and land in a traditional manner.

Over the life of the program the crew has assisted in protecting and enhancing more than 1,200ha of terrestrial and riparian lands and supported more than 140 land managers.

Significant appreciation has been shown from land managers, community groups, LLS staff and other government organisations for their efforts and the team are now widely recognised across the Bega Valley. Bega Cheese and its farmers have regularly praised their efforts across the valley’s dairy farms in assisting farmers to implement the Bega Cheese Environmental Management System.

Significant investment has been made in skilling up crew members through formal and on-the job training.  To date this has provided a springboard for longer-term employment for two members - one securing a contract with the Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council Bundian Way work crew and another more recently securing a permanent position with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

To find out more about the Koori Work Crew, contact the Far South Coast Local Land Services office.

This project is supported by South East Local Land Services, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.