How we operate
For more than two decade the Woady Yaloak Catchment Project was operated by locally elected representatives from the seven geographically based landcare groups in the Catchment. In 2015 local landcare groups make the difficult decision to cease independent operation and amalgamate, to create one group to cover the whole catchment.
For a priod between 1999 and 2009 Landcare Groups supported an additional layer of group activity: Neighbourhood Groups. Neighbourhood Groups were small, localised groups of landholders focused on achieving local landscape outcomes. Each Landcare Group had a number Neighbourhood Groups working within its area. The format was highly successful in promoting cross boundary activity, but due to limited funds, the Neighbourhood Group process was suspended in 2009 and landcare planning and implementation returned to a Landcare Group basis.
Each Landcare Group had a small membership fee, of the order $10-$25, to support their administrative commitments. The Woady Yaloak Catchment Project has an additional levy of 15 cents / ha for large properties, or a set fee of $40 for properties less than 250 ha. Historically the levy was implemented to assist in funding the project coordinator position. Coordinator funding is now provided by the Victorian Facilitator Initiative, however the levy has been retained as a valuable pool of non-targeted funding, which is used to support projects and activities than do not fit within the guidelines presented by the other funding bodies.
The Woady Yaloak Catchment Project has up to 14 member executive committee. Historically each Landcare Group was responsible for nominating one or two representatives (depending on the size of the group) to the executive committee to represent the interests of their local area. The Chairman of the executive committee must be a landholder and is elected by the members on the executive committee. Since 2015 representation on the executive committee is achieved by nomination and election of members at the four local planning meeting held in the catchment each February.
The Woady Yaloak Catchment Project Executive Committee perform three major functions. The first is to act as a funding broker, attracting funding from a range of sources to support on-ground productivity and landcare projects. The second is to record and communicate the Group’s achievements to supporters and stakeholders. The third is to help individual farmers and local groups plan, implement and review their landcare and production activities.
The committee operates five business portfolios, each with their own area of responsibility:
- Finance – monthly accounts, funding guidelines, progress and final reports to sponsors, funding proposals, Landcare group levies and tax requirements (GST/BAS).
- On ground works – assessing funding proposals to ensure that projects are technically sound and that funding guidelines and priorities are met. This portfolio group also organise rabbit and fox control programs.
- Productivity – crop, pasture and livestock based programs that emphasise productivity and profitability improvements in the catchment. They organise farm discussion groups, field days, seminars, farm walks and information nights.
- Communication and publicity – website management, production of the quarterly newsletters, annual report and promotional materials, media liaison, catchment tours, talks at conferences and hosting dignitaries.
- Strategic partnerships and executive support – developing and maintaining partnerships with key stakeholders such as Southern Farming Systems, the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries. This group also initiates and reviews strategic directions for the catchment project, as well as organising regular executive meetings.
The current executive committee members are:
Mt Mercer area – Daniel Laffan
Rokewood area – John Carr
Misery Moonlight area – Lex Hadler, Col McKenzie
Pittong Hoyles Creek area – Kevin Knight, Rod Kennedy
Werneth area – Troy Missen & Evan Lewis (chairman)
Haddon area – Peter Everist
Dales area – Martin Forbes.
The Executive Committee currently employs fourpart time staff (0.6 full time equivalents). The team comprises a Project Manager, landholder facilitator, finance / administration and Pest Plant and Animal Program Support. Over the last decade, the average has been 1 full time equivalent staff position.
The decision to use part time/contract staff rather than full time staff has been based on attracting skills and planning for succession. The aim of the Group is to attract staff with specialist skills to fulfil specific roles and to spread the knowledge / skills across a group of people, thus ensuring some continuity for the project in the event of staff turn over.
Registered name: Woady Yaloak Catchment Group Inc.
ABN: 86 543 641 340 (Registered for GST)
Income tax status: Exempt - not for profit
Type of Body: Incorporated Association
Date of Incorporation: 17th. August, 2004 (previous incorporated through the Victorian Farm Trees and Landcare association)
Incorporation number: A0046147C
Endorsed as a DRG: 4th. October, 2005
Public Fund name: Woady Yaloak Catchment Improvement Fund