Community News

Clarence Landcare Inc. & Ngerrie LALC Protecting our Places Project

Grafton Ngerrie Local Aboriginal Land Council (GNLALC) and Clarence Landcare have partnered together in the past 2 years to plan and deliver two NSW Environmental Trust Protecting our Places grants, both approximately $30,000 each addressing cultural site protection and land management issues on eight of their blocks of land in the Clarence Valley area. One of the projects “site protection and land management” had three components. The first to install bollards and a gate to restrict vehicle access to an important cultural site on the Nymboida River, secondly riverine weed management on seven land council blocks and thirdly to provide four land management training events for local Aboriginal people. “Several years ago whilst undertaking a field inspection with Clarence Landcare on the Nymboida River several issues were raised regarding management of all of our blocks” said GNLALC CEO Brett Tibbett. “The result has been a number of successful grants to fund the preparation of management plans and work on the ground.” Seven blocks of Land Council land in the Nymboida, Koukandowie, Ramornie, Winegrove, and Warragai Creek areas have had initial riparian weed control work done including control of cats claw creeper, lantana, small leaf privet and camphor laurel covering a combined area across all blocks of approximately 2.7ha. “Clarence Landcare have engaged Muurbay Bundani Aboriginal Corporation to undertake the bush regeneration work on the identified blocks, as the employment of Aboriginal people to undertake the work was an important part of the project” said Landcare Coordinator Debbie Repschlager The Koukandowie Creek block was identified as a suitable block to undertake all four training events due its diversity of native vegetation, weeds and relatively easy access. The training events included ‘native plant and weed identification’, ‘site assessment for bush regeneration and safety on site’, ‘a hands on session for creek side weed control methods’ and ‘monitoring on site bush regeneration achievements’. “We partnered with Booroogen Djugen College who were running an Aboriginal land management course through the Grafton Ngerrie Land Council at the time which proved to be a wonderful opportunity for us and for the participants who were obviously already fully engaged and interested in increasing their skills and knowledge in land management and we had heaps of fun” said Clarence Landcare Coordinator Debbie Repschlager. “We have had some great outcomes from this project and hope that more opportunities for our land and people come to fruition as a result” said Grafton Ngerrie LALC CEO Brett Tibbett.