Sustainable Agriculture

The Port Phillip & Westernport AMA contributes to sustainable agriculture and land management in this region by delivering or supporting projects when funded by the Victorian and Australian governments.

Our vision is that the ring of rural and semi-rural land around urban Melbourne will continue to provide substantial benefits for the community, economy and environment of Victoria.

These areas will retain productive, diverse, sustainable agriculture enterprises and industries with substantial economic benefit and local food security for Victoria.

They will simultaneously provide expansive ‘green space’ featuring natural habitat and open landscapes supporting biodiversity and ecosystem health, and enabling Melbourne’s
communities to connect with nature and readily enjoy liveability and recreational benefits.

 

Current projects

Regional Agriculture Facilitator

Funded through Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, the Regional Agriculture Facilitator supports agricultural industry groups and farmers in the Port Phillip and Western Port region. The key services delivered by the Regional Agriculture Facilitator are:

  • Engaging and informing farmers, community groups and agricultural industries about emerging ideas, climate change activities, on‐farm biosecurity, innovative practices and relevant new government policy to help improve the sustainability, productivity and profitability of agriculture in the region
  • Facilitating partnerships that will best deliver agriculture outcomes, such as connecting industry, grower and community groups so that they can work together to address common issues and seek new funding opportunities, e.g. Smart Farms Small Grants and Smart Farming Partnerships Grants.
  • Participating in ‘Communities of Practice’ to better understand complex issues, improve networks and help develop solutions for national priorities.
  • Providing information, as part of two-way communication with the Australian Government, about emerging issues and events, e.g. reporting on the impacts of natural disasters on farmers, emerging farm management issues affecting sustainability, examples of farming better practice, and organising field visits for federal ministers.

To find out more about the role and work of the Regional Agriculture Facilitator, contact Karen Thomas on 8781 7945, 0427 780 170 or karen.thomas@ppwcma.vic.gov.au.

The Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator is supported by the PPWCMA, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

 

Smart Farming in Western Port

This large-scale, five-year project works with landholders from multiple-enterprise types throughout the Western Port catchment to promote sustainable farming practices. It aims to increase the understanding and uptake of innovative farming practices to improve farmers productivity and our natural resources.

Through the project, five innovative on-farm demonstration sites covering a range of enterprise types and trialling innovative practices have been established with a specific focus on building soil carbon. Benchmarks will be established and the practices will provide farmers with actual scenarios they can use to relate to their own situation.

While building soil carbon will be the focus, other sustainability indicators such as soil nutrient balance, productivity and resilience will also be monitored. Farmer discussion groups, field days, and smart farm innovation training will provide the agricultural community with skills to assist with on-farm practice change.

The project is being delivered by the Western Port Catchment Landcare Network in association with Bass Coast Landcare Network, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, South Gippsland Landcare Network, Agriculture Victoria and Melbourne Water. The project is supported by Port Phillip & Westernport CMA through funding from the Australian Governments National Landcare Program .

If you would like more information, then please contact Peter Ronalds at peter@wpcln.org.au or 0402 650382, or visit www.wpcln.org.au/projects/sustainable-farming