Landcare is an Australia-wide network of more than 6000 community groups and many thousands of volunteers. It is a unique partnership between communities, government and organisations that achieves great things for the environment. Landcare volunteers undertake a wide range of activities, including on-ground projects, research, and raising community awareness, and prove that together we can repair and viably manage our precious natural resources. Landcare groups are formed by people with a common concern about the quality of the land and water in their local region.
Brunswick Valley Landcare
Brunswick Valley Landcare Incorporated (BVL Inc.) was formed in November 2003 as a non-political, not for profit organisation to help Landcare groups and landholders in the Brunswick catchment develop projects and apply for funds. The Brunswick catchment is situated in the Byron Shire local government area.
The role of BVL is summarised by its mission statement:
to conserve and restore our natural environment from forest to foreshore.
The need for an umbrella body to support local groups became apparent with the introduction by the New South Wales Government of the Catchment Management Act of 2003. This established 13 catchment management authorities across the state including the Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority, which was responsible for the Brunswick catchment and which administers the Catchment Action Plan. (In 2014, the Catchment Management Authorities across NSW merged with the Livestock Health and Pest Authority and certain advisory services of the Department of Primary Industries to form the Local Land Services. The North Coast Local Land Services is now responsible for the Northern Rivers Catchment Action Plan). By joining together under the BVL umbrella the various volunteer landcare groups in the Brunswick catchment (the locality groups) are able to share costs, particularly public liability insurance, employ professionals, and have an effective interface with the North Coast Local Land Services to negotiate funding.
All members of the affiliated locality groups make up the membership of BVL Inc., which is also open to individuals not associated with a locality group. BVL Inc. is administered by a management committee elected from the general membership.
With membership fees BVL Inc.is able to purchase umbrella insurance (including public liability insurance) so often out of reach for small groups. This provides cover for all members of affiliated groups undertaking landcare activities as well as volunteers who may not be members of BVL Inc. but who work on the locality group sites. Membership also covers costs such as bank fees, accounting and administration. When these charges are spread out over the whole membership they become more affordable for everyone.
The management committee’s duties include administering funds and assisting locality groups with their submissions for funding grants, thus improving their chances of competing for the available money with other groups around the state and nationally.
Locality groups, which may also be formed for specific projects such as re-establishing forest/park vegetation, continue to organise and manage their own work sites and projects.
BVL Inc. organises regular workshops and bushwalks to share knowledge with the wider community about our natural environment, whether you live on a farm, a rural property, or a residential block in town. BVL Inc. publishes a monthly newsletter full of great information. If you would like to receive this newsletter please subscribe on the right hand side. Past editions of the newsletter can be found under the resources menu option.
Please click here to download a copy of Brunswick Valley Landcare Constitution_2016
Please click here to download a copy of Brunswick Valley Landcare Inc Strategic Plan 2016
BVL is also a member of the North Coast Regional Landcare Network which give a voice to 11 landcare networks on the North Coast of NSW. To find out how BVL fits into the bigger picture of Landcare this is very useful North Coast Landcare Structure May 2017