Parliamentary Landcare Group Established in South Australia
Blog post by Dr. Patrick O’Connor
Members of the South Australian Parliament have established a bi-partisan Friends of Landcare group as part of celebrations for the 20-year anniversary of the Landcare Association of South Australia (LASA). Thirty members of parliament and representatives of the landcare movement in South Australia shared dinner at Parliament House on 26th February to discuss the ethic and achievements of landcare in South Australia. The evening was brought together by the Hon John Dawkins MLC and Gerry Butler (past Chair of LASA) and Sheree Bowman (Chair of LASA). Attendees discussed the current state of landcare and landcare groups in South Australia, the environmental challenges being addressed through landcare and the opportunities for sustainable agriculture within a landcare framework. One of the short presentations was made by John Chester, CEO of the Aboriginal Lands Trust (ALT), which holds 65 titles to 500,000 hectares of land managed by Aboriginal South Australians. John spoke about the value of the landcare movement in aligning with the caring for country work of indigenous South Australians.
Among the many members of parliament who attended the dinner were Hon David Speirs MP (Minister for Environment and water), Hon Susan Close MP (Deputy Leader of the Opposition Shadow Minister for Environment & Water), Hon Tim Whetstone MP (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development), and Hon Mark Parnell MLC Parliamentary Leader of The Greens. Associate Professor Patrick O’Connor from the Centre for Global Food and Resources (GFAR) attended the dinner in his capacity as a South Australian representative on the National Landcare Network Members Council.