The Mulloon Institute  -  Enews - April 2018

From the Chairman, The Mulloon Institute

You are probably perplexed at my complex heading for this month's update - "An Agrarian April Algorithm"! Well "Agrarian" that's easy - relating to land, and if The Mulloon Institute (TMI), Mulloon Consulting Contracting & Certifying (MCCC) and Mulloon Creek Natural Farms (MCNF) are anything they are all about "relating to land". But what's the relationship to April and "Algorithm"?

Let me explain it this way. Many people, particularly the younger generation, probably think of "algorithms" and their use in the development of "apps" for their smart phone. But we older generation, and mathematically literate ones, know that an "algorithm" is "any special method of solving a certain kind of problem". So what special kind of problem relating to the land got solved in April?

Here I take some license! But only in as much as while the problem may not have been solved in April, some very positive steps towards problem solving were taken. 

MCCC - workshops and property visits

Cam Wilson headed up to Townsville in northern Queensland during April with his MCCC cap on to lead the first in a series of workshops demonstrating how landscape repair and rehydration can help prevent the sediment runoff into the ocean that is impacting negatively on the Great Barrier Reef. The workshop organised by NQ Dry Tropics NRM was a great success. 

The next workshop in the series is 'Landscape Rehydration: Banking Water in your Soil' on 6-7 June at Worona Station, via Calcuim. It will cover designing a property based approach to water management with hands-on construction of landscape features to reduce run-off and prevent gully erosion. Contact Sam Skeat at NQ Dry Tropics for more details on (07) 4799 3500 or via

Carolyn Hall and Cam also visited a property near Yass, and will go to Tidbinbilla in May to provide advice on how MCCC could assist with repair and rehydration in their landscapes. MCCC has also been looking at a property in the Molonglo catchment in a similar fashion.
Great Barrier Reef funding

Shortly after Cam's visit up north, the Federal Government's Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg, announced funding of $500m for the protection of the Great Barrier Reef. $200m of that funding will be directed towards helping farmers minimise agricultural runoff. So collectively, the initiative of our MCCC workshop, facilitated by NQ Dry Tropics NRM, and Australian Government funding will directly assist in solving a land-based problem - an "agrarian algorithm".

Issues related to bleaching and other coral impacts on the Great Barrier Reef are various and complex, but sediment runoff is quite clearly one of the greatest impacts and potentially one of the easiest to fix. Restoring landscape natural functions in the many catchments that ultimately feed into the Great Barrier Reef is exactly what is needed. And the good news for farmers is that repair work will not only limit runoff, it will also make their farms more sustainable and productive.

Using our experience elsewhere and particularly at Mulloon Creek, we are able to apply the same principles but adapt methodologies when working in landscapes in northern Australia. Cam will be heading back to Queensland in June to undertake a further workshop with NQ Dry Tropics NRM and local farmers. See above section for workshop details. 

Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project

Meanwhile Peter Hazell, Luke Peel and Kelly Thorburn have continued their great work for TMI which constantly means problem solving. Whether it be analysing landscape function data or designing the next stages of the Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project (MCLRP) algorithms of the agrarian kind will be in the mix.

Two more Controlled Activity Approval (CAA) applications are ready to be submitted through the NSW Office of Water, incorporating a further ten creek structures. Another five CAA's will be submitted for approval by spring so that we can hit the ground running once it warms up and on-ground works begin again. We'll be seeking active volunteers to give us a hand this time around as the Green Army program has finally come to an end. Potential volunteers will be fully inducted in OHS matters and can get in contact with us via
A hopping good start

Frog surveys conducted along Mulloon Creek in spring 2017 have established baseline data on the occurrence and abundance of frog species in the area, with seven different species detected residing in and around the creek. Read more HERE.

Sharing our knowledge

Substantial interest in our work at Mulloon Creek continues with Tony Coote's long time acquaintances Marcus Blackmore and Bob Lapointe spending a day with us in late April to discuss areas of mutual interest. They were joined by their wives Caroline and Wendy and by Pete Hazell and Cam Wilson who provided valuable information and explanations on the impressive results they saw. 

Around twenty members from the NSW branch of Soil Science Australia will also be visiting Mulloon Creek Natural Farms in May to view the compost trial sites and learn about mixed farming land use and time cell grazing management.
EVENT: Join the Climate Conversation

Rural Communities Making a Difference

The Mulloon Institute will be attending this great conference in Yass on Friday 25 May organised by Boorowa Community Landcare Group and Hovells Creek Landcare Group. Presentations on the day include Dr Bradley Opdyke, Dr Charles Massy, Dr Christine Jones and Dr Siwan Lovett. Tickets $35 - $45. Book HERE.
FILM: Buffers, Sponges + Moderators

Managing swampy meadows and wetlands

Rivers of Carbon will be launching their film 'Buffers, Sponges & Moderators' on Wednesday 30 May 2018 at The Carrington Inn in Bungendore. It focuses on managing swampy meadows and wetland and features Cam Wilson amongst a great cast of landholders and practitioners. Tickets are free but bookings are essential to secure a spot.  Book HERE.

April Ask

In concluding this month's update and given that we are in the rundown to the end of the financial year, I thought it was opportune to remind all our wonderful supporters of our charity and DGR status - yes  donations to The Mulloon Institute are fully tax deductible. So if I could "ask" you to give consideration to help us continue and grow the great work we do. There are so many catchments needing problem solving and we are ready with " agrarian algorithms" and incredible expertise to tackle them. And in that vein keep a lookout for the  100 Catchment Club coming soon!

Till next month all the best and thanks for your interest and support.


Gary Nairn AO
The Mulloon Institute, Chairman


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