Leschenault Catchment Council launches new environmental program, receives $1.2 million in new funding

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke, Leschenault Catchment Council chair Anne-Marie Offer, and Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns with the Lotterywest grant.
Camera IconMurray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke, Leschenault Catchment Council chair Anne-Marie Offer, and Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns with the Lotterywest grant. Credit: Supplied

A leading South West environmental group has launched a new program, also receiving $1.2 million in funding for the next three years.

The Leschenault Catchment Council held a celebration night on July 27 attended by community leaders, members and supporters, which also marked an acknowledgement of the landcare movement in WA.

The new multi-year Leschenault Estuary Connect Program was launched on the night, which aims to bring community, business and government together to protect the landmark waterway.

It will include Noongar people, scientists and artists sharing their knowledge and stories of the estuary, presentations and workshops within the community, and the creation of a Friends of the Estuary volunteer program.

The night also included the announcement of $1.2 million in funding for the Leschenault Catchment Council over the next three years, including $563,050 from Lotterywest and an additional grant from the Water Corporation for the Leschenault Estuary Connect program.

Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke and Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns presented the Lotterywest grant, with Ms Hanns saying the estuary was an important habitat for flora and fauna.

“The efforts of community groups to care for our local environment plays a critical role in its ongoing wellbeing, which is why I’m so pleased we are helping LCC deliver a program that encourages community stewardship of the estuary.

A three-year community partnership between the Leschenault Catchment Council and South32’s Worsley Alumina was also announced to support the growth of the Danju — Jobs Together program.

Now in its sixth year, the program provides work and training opportunities for Noongar people in landcare and conservation work.

Worsley operations vice-president Erwin Schaufler said the program would benefit the environment as well as creating new employment opportunities.

“It’s fantastic to be able to help members of our community, particularly local young people, learn new skills and find employment opportunities through the (program),” he said.

Three environmental champions were also honoured, with George Mardon, Adrian Egan and Carmel Boyce receiving life membership awards for their contributions to the Leschenault Catchment Council.

Chair Anne-Marie Offer thanked them for their contributions and expressed her excitement for the organisation’s future.

“The LCC board and staff are excited about a new era for LCC, new programs, new funding, and renewed connection with our community,” she said.

“We look forward to working with our government, industry and community partners to achieve improved outcomes for our environment.”

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