The Mulloon Institute  -  Enews - May 2019

From the Chairman, The Mulloon Institute

You will recognise "Mandate" as a word used regularly during May by various people involved in a certain event that occurred on 18 May. Definitions of "mandate" include,  "an official order or commission to do something; the authority to carry out a policy", and in the case of those individuals involved in the 18 May event, "the wishes of constituents expressed to a representative, party, etc".

"This work should be rolled out across the country" -  Deputy PM, Michael McCormack

Fe deral funding up date

While I'll leave the latter definition of mandate for others to debate, in the case of  The Mulloon Institute (TMI), we received a "mandate" from the Federal Government during May with the signing of an agreement, "to carry out a policy". That policy being to 'Rehydrate Australia to Improve the Environment, Farm Productivity and Community Education and Engagement'  as represented by the title of the funding agreement and carried out as part of the   Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project (MCLRP).

My  'Manna March' and  'Aureate April' updates gave details of the Federal Government's funding, but it was only in May (14th) that the agreement was signed by TMI and the  Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR). While I was assured the funding was "locked in", it was certainly a relief to have the signed agreement, and I thank the officers within DAWR for their diligence. We will commence implementing our "mandate" in July following receipt of the initial funds.

While succeeding with the grant was a great result, the most important aspect was the support of the Federal Government for our work which I'm now describing as a "mandate" from government for landscape rehydration, and I'm reminded of the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who said when visiting TMI,  "This work should be rolled out across the country". That sounds like a "mandate" to me!

With the election over and some changes in portfolios, there are now four key ministers TMI will be liaising with as we push forward with our work. The minister that announced our grant, David Littleproud, now concentrates on Water, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management. There are new Ministers for Agriculture in Bridget McKenzie and Sussan Ley in Environment, and  Angus Taylor's portfolio of Energy and Emissions Reduction is also relevant to our work. I congratulate them all and look forward to working with each one and their departments.

Project Coordinator Peter Hazell with students from The Scots College

Visits to Mulloon Creek

We've had several groups visit Mulloon Creek Natural Farms this month who are interested in our landscape rehydration works and wanted to see first-hand what we do to achieve that, and how they could apply it themselves.

The Scots College brought a group of Year 12 Agricultural Science students along to learn about our regenerative farming techniques, and how they could be applied to their family properties. Read more about that visit here.

Kyeamba Valley Landcare (NSW) also visited with a group of 25 people armed with questions concerning  leaky weirs and pasture and weed management,  which you can read about HERE.

And, we also hosted international visitors from Argentina who were very interested in the step diffusion system and how it could be applied to their own low rainfall context. Read about that visit HERE.

Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project

We are pleased to announce that Soils for Life has featured the Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project (MCLRP) in one of their Case Studies on regenerative landscape management practices around Australia.

The case study includes five video clips featuring Gary Nairn AO, Project Coordinator Peter Hazell, and landholders and managers Sue and Ulli Tuisk, Gerry Carroll and Andrew Robinson, and John West. A comprehensive assessment of the vegetation condition is also included - VAST Report - as prepared by Dr Richard Thackway of VAST Transformations.

Peter Hazell in the Fitzroy Basin, Queensland

Mulloon Consulting Contracting & Certifying

Peter Hazell presented a two day workshop in Queensland this month for the Fitzroy Basin AssociationPeter demonstrated methods of erosion control and landscape rehydration, covering a mixture of theory and practical hands-on works. To learn more about the workshop, view the summary video or read FBA's news blog.

Riverina Local Land Service (LLS) has also partnered with Murrumbidgee Landcare and MCCC to submit a  National Landcare Program: Smart farming Partnerships Round 2 (NLP2) grant application. Riverina LLS aims to restore landscape function on several Riverina proprieties, across four catchments, so they can be used as local demonstration sites for future projects. The project includes comprehensive landholder education and training. If successful, MCCC will be engaged to undertake detailed design work for the landscape rehydration works and management of the controlled activity approval applications, as well as onsite planning and construction.
Wanted -  Landscape Rehydration Design Consultant

Mulloon Consulting Contracting and Certifying , is seeking a Landscape Rehydration Design Consultant who is passionate about effecting change in regenerative, environmental and agricultural practices, with sound technical skills in hydrology for landscape rehydration.

Location:          Flexible workplace - Canberra region preferred
Salary etc:        Part-time or full-time
Closing date:    Friday 14 June 2019

Landscape Resilience Forum

Our "mandate" referred to at the start of this update was very much reinforced at the end of May at a Forum held in conjunction with Upper Shoalhaven Landcare in the barn of the Home Farm of Mulloon Creek Natural Farms (MCNF). 

Titled 'Landscape Resilience Forum' we had a full house with about 120 people in attendance. The day commenced with a Welcome to Country by Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison who gave an insightful account of understanding the landscape and the crucial importance and role of plants to its functioning and to the health and well-being of us humans. TMI has developed an important partnership with Uncle Max and we strive to learn more from Indigenous Elders and their knowledge of our landscape.

Presentations throughout the day came from Dr Steven Crimp from the ANU Climate Change Institute (responding to the impacts of a changing climate); Emeritus Professor Geoff Hope (past landscape development of the Mulloon over 50,000 years); Sue Ogilvy (links between farm profitability and biodiversity); David Marsh, Gill Sandbrook, David Watson and Martin Royds (farmer case studies of their methodologies for resilience on their properties); Noel Webster (indigenous connections to the land and traditional practices to protect the land); and Peter Hazell and Peter Andrews (Mulloon and landscape rehydration).  Science Advisory Council Chair, Emeritus Professor Stephen Dovers, was MC for the day.

With the range of highly qualified and experienced presenters the forum gave attendees very comprehensive information on just what should be occurring in Australia's degraded dehydrated landscape. Overwhelmingly the examples of the regenerative farmers (David, Gill, David and Martin) says it all given the dry periods they have experienced but the results they have achieved. David Marsh's comment that he has spent zero dollars on inputs since 1999 stuck in my mind. Attendees went away from the forum with a "mandate" to take similar actions on their own properties.
Sustainable Development Goals

The Mulloon Institute is proud to be listed on the official Australian  Sustainable Development Goals website, which aims to provide a live and ongoing overview of actions being taken across the country to advance the SDGs. 

View the listing here:

In the news

The Mulloon Institute's Gary Nairn and independent landscape thinker Peter Andrews have featured on the BBC recently, following an interview with Australian journalist Georgina Kenyon.

'Biodiversity in Crisis ', BBC World Service, (from 20 min 09 sec)

Dates for the diary

Jillamatong Regenerative Agriculture Farm Tour 
Saturday 29 June 2019
At Martin Royds' property near Jillamatong. More details here.

Inaugural Tony Coote AM Memorial Lecture 
Monday 5 August 2019
To be delivered by our Patron and Chairman of Soils For Life, Major General Michael Jeffery AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd), in the NSW Parliament House.  More details soon.

Mulloon Creek Field Day 
Saturday 2 November 2019
To be held at Mulloon Creek Natural Farms. More details soon.
In finishing this month's update can I remind you that the end of the financial year is only a few weeks away and so you may be in the position to consider some financial support for TMI. While I've contacted all our supporters separately this year asking for such a consideration, you can donate directly via our website to make a fully tax deductible donation.

Thank you all once again for your wonderful support.

Best wishes,

Gary Nairn AO
The Mulloon Institute, Chairman


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