The Leader of The Nationals in the Senate, Ron Boswell, campaigning on the Atherton Tablelands with The Nationals Candidate for Kennedy, Cr Ed Morrison, today met with local dairy farmers on a farm near Millaa Millaa to announce $275,000 in Australian Coalition Government funding to improve natural resource management planning on dairy farms across Far North Queensland.
The grant will be provided over three years (2007-08 to 2009-10) to a joint project between Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation and Terrain NRM, the regional NRM body, through the Governments Natural Heritage Trust.
This funding aims to strengthen the involvement of the dairy industry in regional NRM planning through a strategic and partnership approach with Terrain NRM, Senator Boswell said.
The funds will target a component of a broader, integrated NRM strategy identified by the dairy industry to improve property planning to address sustainability of farms and regional environments, as well as increasing farmer and industry capacity and resilience.
The project funded will focus on the development of on-farm dairy NRM planning under the current Dairying Better N Better for Tomorrow farm management structure, as well as establishing a formal partnership planning program between the dairy industry and Terrain NRM to build on NRM activities in the region.
Dairying Better N Better for Tomorrow is an industry developed program involving local groups of producers working together to improve the on-farm adoption of better natural resource management practices.
Todays announcement will enable a more integrated approach to farm management and the identification of dairy industry NRM priorities.
The partnership between the dairy industry and Terrain NRM will be formalised through the establishment of a FNQ Dairy-NRM Strategic Management Group to oversee the project and identify emerging NRM issues relevant to the industry.
This support from the Australian Government recognises that the restoration and strengthening of the sustainability of the regions dairy farming environment is essential to the recovery of the dairy industry, to the regions natural resources, and to all who depend on this industry in the far north.
While there are a range of additional priorities identified by the industry, the project funded today is an important first step in setting up better linkages between the industry and the NRM group to address local natural resource management issues.
Senator Boswell said todays announcement came on top of a number of recent Coalition Government measures of benefit to the north Queensland dairy industry, including up to $100,000 for a stocktake of the industry to identify priorities and develop an action plan, $47,150 in funds to support young dairy farmers in the far north, as well as a broader NSW/Qld project that received $260,000 to target sustainable and profitable dairy farming.
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