Innovative projects sought for farming grants

Sjanna SandalovaGreat Southern Herald

Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson held a forum at Katanning Leisure Centre last Thursday to discuss the Smart Farm Grants funding.

Landcare groups from across the region came to hear about the grants that are now available for farmers and farming groups to implement new and innovative sustainable land management practices, which protect and improve condition of soils, vegetation and biodiversity.

Mr Wilson is calling for groups of innovative and talented organisations in the agriculture, fishing, aqua culture and farm forestry industries to apply for the National Landcare Program’s $60 million Smart Farming Partnerships for grants of between $250,000 and $4 million.

“By collaborating with groups such as farming improvement groups and combining landcare and environmental protection with increased farm production and innovation, I think that’s a great marriage and that’s something everyone can utilise,” Mr Wilson said.

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“It’s an opportunity to reinvigorate the landcare movement in conjunction with the farming improvement groups.”

Kathryn Galea, from the Department of Agriculture, attended the forum to give general advice and answer any questions about the grants funding.

“The feedback from people attending was really positive,” Mr Wilson said.

“It really gave them insight into how to make their grant stand out from the rest.

“I want to ensure I give the groups in my electorate the best chance of winning a grant to fund local projects.”

Farmers, fishers, community and industry groups can also apply for grants of between $5000 and $100,000 through the Smart Farms Small Grants program, which is providing $50 million over six years.

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