Central West Lachlan Landcare have had a productive 12 months. It is often hard to put a true value on the worth of Landcare, particularly when there are so many variables and we come into contact with a vast number of individuals and groups, both small voluntary community groups and large operators, Local, State and Federal Government.
Did you know that each Landcare group is its own entity, but we work cooperatively across our Region, State and Australia wide. We are a registered not-for-profit organisation which means that the we run totally to support our communities.
Many of you would know, we were fortunate to apply for and secure funds for half of a position (or what is referred to as .5 of a position) over a period of four years. This position was sought through the Local Landcare Co-ordinator Initiative that was negotiated between Landcare NSW and the State Government and is supported by Local Land Services. After many years of struggling through each financial cycle, this has provided some relief and we are endeavouring to use these funds to keep Landcare as a long term, sustainable entity, providing services to our community. As with virtually all funding that is provided, this requires regular reporting on our outcomes and achievements on several levels, which provides a good gauge for measuring the effectiveness of the program.
Parkes and Forbes Shire Councils agreed to additionally support us through the provision of a vehicle and $10 000/year for three years (to compliment the support given by the State Government through the LLCI program).
When we are not involved in the day to day workings of an organisation it is easy to think that these things could be taken for granted and not fully recognise the benefits that the Government and other supporters (including members) receive from such an investment.
We hope that the following information will give some clarity to the value that Central West Lachlan Landcare have given back as a result of these partnerships. I was trying to look for a better phrase than 'bang for your buck'
and found 'return on investment' and 'more bounce for the ounce', 'value for money' 'cost performance' (makes me sound like a car). The reality is that for any organisation these days, regardless of if they are not for profit or not, is that people want to see what value is being received in monetary terms, but we all know that there is more to life than money.
To give a bit of scale to one of the projects that we have undertaken, being the Green Army Programme, over the past 18 months, this program has brought between $275,000 and $300,000 to the Shires of Parkes and Forbes in various forms. This is just one project that has happened as a result of the tremendous partnerships built on as a result of the LLCI. As mentioned, we recognise that when working with Landcare the benefits are often hard to measure because we are often acting as enablers, educators and on a platform to promote our region, gain on-ground benefits for our members, community and just generally make our area a better place to live.
With your ongoing support, we can do amazing things over the next 12 months and build on the fantastic achievements of the past 12 months. We recognise that for some in our area, the past 12 months has been a challenge, and that the next 12 months is also likely to offer up some more challenges. We hope that we will be able to assist in any way that we can.