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Wheatbelt Women Identify Salt as Key Environmental Concern

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Sustainable Agriculture

A survey of women living in the WA Wheatbelt has revealed some of their greatest concerns when it comes to the environment. Natural resource management group Wheatbelt NRM surveyed more than 100 women, following the second driest year on record in the region. The results have been analysed and reveal salinity and water conservation as the two top concerns. Soil erosion, lack of rain and farm sustainability were also identified as areas of concern. Wheatbelt NRM’s Natarsha Woods said the survey was part of a larger study aimed at improving contact with rural women. “Social research shows women are often the biggest drivers of natural resource management change on properties,” Natarsha Woods said. “Given last year’s poor season, now more than ever it’s crucial we engage with these people to help maintain a healthy environment and community.” The survey followed a study tour by a group of Wheatbelt women to the drought affected Birchip cropping district in Victoria. Natarsha Woods said the surveys were handed out at information sessions held by five of the women who were on the tour. “The surveys also revealed how much of a toll drought has had on people emotionally,” Natarsha Woods said. “More than half of the women said they came to the information sessions because of concerns about their family’s social and mental health.” The results of the survey will be used to improve relationships between Wheatbelt NRM and the community. Media contact: Natarsha Woods, Wheatbelt NRM, 9690 2250 or 0428 927 052