The 27th Katanning LCDC AGM was held Tuesday 12th September 2017 and committee members and office bearers were again elected.

There were only two small changes to the committee, with Colin Beeck retiring his seat, and Stephen Tunbridge, nominee for the Commissioner of Soil and Land Conservation retiring. Colin’s seat was filled by incoming member Jill Richardson and Steven was replaced with John-Paul Collins.

The Committee - Katanning Landcare

Our Committee for 2017-2018

Name Role
Scott Newbey Chairman
Doug Cherry Vice Chairman
Adrian Richardson Treasurer
John Paul Collins Nominee of Commissioner
Serena Sandwell Shire of Katanning Rep
Terry Blake WA Farmer
Narelle Knapp WA Farmer
Jill Richardson Landholder
Matt Collis Landholder
Mitchell Davies Landholder
Norm Flugge Landholder
Tim Harris Landholder
Bev Kowald Landholder
Bev Lockley Landholder
Ron Lockley Landholder
David Secomb Landholder

The Chair’s Report

I wish to thank all the LCDC members, staff and volunteers for the past years work.

I am proud of the fact that we are still here, and still kicking goals, despite the challenges of operating a NRM organisation at present. I have been very pleased with the achievements of all the staff and the continued “good vibe” in the office.

I want to thank all those who have volunteered numerous hours in assisting the office and working on the ground to complete many of our projects. I am excited about a number of ideas for our organisation to continue its good work and looking forward to facing the challenges in front of us with you all.

To leave you with a quote to reflect on…

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love. The cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine.”

Katanning Landcare Centre Report

2016-17 has been a year of challenges and promise, and was full of diversity.

We entered the financial year with a grim outlook, and faced the potential of closure. With the Capability Grant being approved, we were able to begin to look to the future and put a number of plans in place.

We had changes in staff, with Jill Richardson, an icon to our organisation and Landcare in general, leaving. Katie Rigg joined us, but has since moved on as well. Our newest team member, Karlie Moir, is fitting in well. Jill has since returned to offer some volunteer assistance in the office.

Mazita Omar and Ilias Shaw joined us as well, through funding provided in part by the GSDC EcoWeek grant and SWCC Groundworks grants, which were leveraged off of the State NRM Capability Grants and Soil Conservation Service Charge.

Ella Maesepp has been assisting us with project work on a contractual basis through her Katanning Eco-House business as a consultant on the 10 Week Bin Transformation project, and a number of other key outcomes-based tasks for the Capability Grant.

Funding from Lotterywest grants allowed us to do significant upgrades to our computers, network, website, mapping and learn to do filming and editing. This has been an important platform for us to build our online income streams through program marketing and implementation, as we see the 10 Week Bin Transformation Program take shape, as well as other initiatives, such as EcoWeek and retail opportunities.

EcoWeek 2016 was not our biggest or best year for attendance, but was done on a tight budget and with little time committed. It did represent a great platform to build into the 2017 series, which is being spear-headed by Mazita Omar, who volunteered heavily in 2016. EcoWeek 2017 is looking to be the biggest and best yet.

We were pleased to be able to undertake two prominent fee-for-service roles, one in the design and guidance of implementation for the Katanning Primary School Native Garden. The second was the Volunteer Management of the Piesse Lake-Over, which received very high engagement rates, and was positively received by the whole community.

We are encouraged by the support of the Shire of Katanning and the professional and supportive relationship we are seeing developed there, and look forward to seeing this develop into future opportunities.

Looking to the Future

Katanning Land Conservation District Committee is undertaking the Soil Conservation Service Charge process to ensure the ongoing funding of the Katanning Landcare Centre for the 2018-19, 19-20, 20-21 financial years. The Shire of Katanning, and the community in general, have been highly supportive of the process. We have requested a Service Charge of $35 per rateable assessment for the three financial years in question.

Completion of many of the planning activities for which we received Capability Grant funding are intended to create a basis for future activities, including marketing, sponsorship and membership programs, further retail, fee-for-service and other means of diversifying our income.

We are also keen to work in partnership with other groups and develop relationships that benefit the community and the environment in Katanning and beyond.

How You Can Help

Katanning Landcare values its volunteers, and one of the best ways you can help is to offer your talents and expertise and your valuable time. If you have skills we can use, in event planning, office administration, first aid, tree planting, gardening, agronomy or other skills, we would be much appreciative.

We also welcome donations, and, while we can’t offer tax deductible gift receipts at this time, we are still looking into establishing that as an option. We also encourage you to support our events, purchase our environmentally friendly items and stop in for a chat.

It’s also a big help if you thank and support our sponsors and donors, with many small businesses in Katanning giving generously throughout the year for various events, and especially our key corporate sponsors QFH Multiparts and Great Southern Fuel Supplies.

Acknowledgements and Thank You’s

Thank you to our dedicated committee members, our keen volunteers, our tireless staff, and their supportive families, who have helped, lifted, moved, voted, and assisted in all manner of ways over the last year.

Thank you to the landholders who still put up fences and plant trees to protect the environment for future generations, and who so often don’t get thanked or recognised for their important work. You are the key to our success and we are grateful for your contributions.

Thank you to our funders, supporters, the Shire of Katanning and other groups we work with, and a big thank you to each and every ratepayer in Katanning who helps keep our doors open, and shows us that our work is relevant and needed.

Treasurer’s Report

The Katanning Landcare budget took a severe knock early in the financial year with the news that we would not be receiving Capability Grant funding. However, from sustained pressure and lobbying, this decision was reversed, granting the Katanning LCDC Capability Grant funding of:

F/Y 16-17     30/01/17       $75000                   Paid

F/Y 17-18     03/07/17       $50000                   Paid

02/01/18       $50000

F/Y 18-19     02/07/18       $24414

Total                                $199414

The LCDC’s Executive Officer, Andrea Salmond, has been tasked to use this funding to set the LCDC up to become more self-sufficient in income sources and less reliant on all types of Government funding. Government funding will still form part of our revenue but is likely to become less and less as both state and federal governments struggle to even balance their budgets.

The first year of the QFH Productive Farming Demonstration project has had a slow start due to weather conditions and other circumstances, but is set to become a model upon which other private enterprise and philanthropic funding can be built.

The ideal is to establish partnerships between philanthropic investors and businesses to fund productive Landcare projects managed by the Katanning LCDC. The marrying of these three can create a mutually beneficial means of environmental enhancement that will benefit landholders and food production. As such, it is a marketable process.

The ongoing financing of the LCDC in the short term (two years) is secured by the Capability Grant funding and the Landcare service charge raised under the Soil and Land Conservation Act. A new service charge process for the years 2019-2021 is underway.

Other areas of revenue include interest on funds held, retail sale of environmentally friendly products, fee for service works undertaken by staff and volunteers, and hiring out other equipment and services.

On the expenditure side, the use of contractors to undertake and manage project formulation, management and acquittal instead of employees matches the variable and uncertainty of funding to the expense of these functions limiting longer-term liabilities.

The LCDC’s longer term future will be completely dependent on successful matching of project funding opportunities from all sources and the efficient management of the business of managing these projects.

We look forward to a positive and diverse future.