The Australian Greens said today that Landcare groups around the country would be shocked to learn that there is no funding available for Landcare grants over the four years of the Federal Budget.
"In Senate Estimates, the Department of Agriculture confirmed that there is no money for new Landcare grants between now and 2018," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.
"This is a devastating blow for local Landcare groups around the country. It is an insult, given the Government is spending $525 million on the Green Army.
"The Landcare community took the Government's word that funding would be maintained, they took this to mean on-the-ground Landcare funding. There will be no Landcare funding round any more.
"The Department have confirmed that the entirety of the sustainable agriculture side of the National Landcare programme funding has been already been contracted or committed. Funding from Regional NRM bodies is all that remains.
"I have serious concerns that these cuts will have a devastating effect on the Landcare movement, and the ability of groups around the country to continue operating, including their ability to participate in the Green Army programme.
"The Government have stripped this crucial NRM funding out of the sector, and their only response is to suggest that the Green Army can step in and fill the void. A Green Army scheme cannot come close to replacing the vital work undertaken by Landcare.
"The Government has broken yet another promise" Senator Siewert concluded.