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Pioneering Landcare group forges ahead

Eliza Rogers, Wednesday November 27, 2013 - 14:12 EDT
ABC image
Landcare workers Alan Knight and Kurt Muller - ABC
ABC image
Cats claw creeper chokes native trees - ABC

One of the state's oldest Landcare groups is stronger than ever as it busily repairs areas of country devastated by January's floods.


Landcare works at a grassroots level to nurture the land and encourage people to sustainably manage their own properties.


Based in the old Monto shire, the North Burnett Landcare Group has long-fought funding restraints for its projects.


But now, it's thriving, with extra support delivered to help battle weeds spread by floods.




One of the group's major successes is employing eight mostly young men who were on Centrelink benefits to clean up Cat's Claw Creeper and Chinese Elm.


They've been working for more than six months and are now on their second sweep of the Three Moon Creek area.


They kill the Cat's Claw Creeper by slicing out a chunk of its vine at the base of the tree it's choking.


Worker Kurt Muller says he's noticed a change since the work began.


"All the stuff in the tree, we're killing, (it's) really hard to kill the stuff on the ground but most of it's dying, we just have to keep going back over it."




The group is also working with the community to help build the boys' teamwork.


President Glenn Baker has set up a gym in the local Scouts hall where Landcare group meets, and the fitness regime is being written up by the local police.


"When you've got a young group of people together, there's a lot of testosterone... what we thought was to help them team up a bit better was to do some fitness," Mr Baker said.


"I went and saw the police sergeant and he was over the moon, so he's going to be building the regime, but it's superb, it's going to be great."


All the activity means Mr Baker is extra busy, but he's passionate about the group he says is run more like a family than a business.


"We've got school teachers and farmers and townsfolk; it's diverse in membership but their vision is the same," he said.


"It's such a good Landcare group because of its willingness to see things happen."


The group will continue post-flood weed control for the next 15 months, and build a bio control facility at the local high school to breed weed-eating bugs.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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