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NRM award

6 October 2005

Agriculture Minister Kim Chance today congratulated Cathy Lyons for winning the Department of Agriculture's Landcare Professional Award for 2005.

Mr Chance presented Ms Lyons, who has been the Avon Catchment Council Natural Resource Management (NRM) regional facilitator for almost two years, with the award at last night's 2005 WA State Landcare Awards in Denmark.

The Minister said the award recognised the outstanding efforts of an individual to develop, integrate and promote landcare within the community.

"Ms Lyons has been instrumental in assisting the Avon Catchment Council develop its Regional Strategy and Investment Plan and has provided a networking and communications role to the NRM professionals in the region," he said.

"Prior to joining the Avon Catchment Council, Ms Lyons managed the Serpentine-Jarrahdale Community Landcare Centre in Mundijong where she co-ordinated on-ground repair work, actively promoted landcare in the region and sourced funding for new projects.

"Ms Lyons was also the Association of Community Landcare Professionals chair from December 2000 to March 2005."

Mr Chance said the other State winners included the Murchison Land Conservation District Committee (LCDC), which received the Department of Environment River Rats Living Streams Award for actively promoting sustainable land management among pastoralists within the region.

The Minister said the Natural Resource Management Council - NRM Community Award was presented to Western Dairy and Geographe Catchment Council (GeoCatch) for the development and promotion of the DairyCatch program.

"Through DairyCatch, Western Dairy and GeoCatch have brought together key stakeholders to help carry out sustainable dairy farm management," he said.

Mr Chance said the final State Award winners were Woodanilling landowners Peter and Wendy Bessell-Browne, who were awarded the Australian Forest Growers WA Tree Farmer of the Year Award.

"The Bessell-Browne family's broad-acre farming enterprise consists of two properties, located north and north-east of Woodanilling," the Minister said.

"Both properties are managed using a whole-of-farm planning approach that utilises a range of management options, including extensive commercial and biodiversity plantations.

"The couple have played a key role in the development of the oil mallee industry since hosting one of the first farm trials in the early 1990s."

Mr Chance said the State Landcare Awards were an important way of promoting the Landcare message to the wider community.

"The awards recognise individuals, farmers, community groups and school students who invest time and energy into looking after WA's environment for future generations," he said.

"The Gallop Government is protecting and enhancing Western Australia's unique environment."