We all benefit from our region's natural resources...
Our livelihoods, lifestyles and landscapes are all closely linked to the soil, water, native plants and animals around us. With more than eighty per cent of our region under agricultural production, the sustainable use of our soils and water assets is critical to our long-term prosperity as a region.
We recognise that everyone who lives and works in the region has an impact on the environment. As such, we all share the responsibility and cost of caring for our land, water, native plants and animals, and coastal areas.
What is the natural resources management levy?
There are two types of levy. All ratepayers will see an amount on their council rates notice that contributes directly to managing natural resources. This is known as the regional NRM levy. In addition to this, licensed irrigators in the Clare Valley Prescribed Water Area pay a water levy based on their water allocation.
The natural resources management (NRM) levy is paid by property owners in the Northern and Yorke region to help fund the work needed to protect and enhance the environment and contribute towards sustainable production.
Just like council rates, NRM levy contributions are calculated on the capital value of land and charged annually. The levy is collected by councils on behalf of the NY NRM Board.
The water levy is based on the allocation and use of water by licensed water users. It is collected by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources and provided to the board.
What do we get from the NRM levy? Spotlight on our NRM Levy at Work
The NRM levy helps fund the delivery of the Northern and Yorke regional NRM Plan. This plan sets out the targets for the environment in the region. NRM levy funds are invested in on-ground projects that are implemented by Natural Resources Northern and Yorke, such as assisting landholders to meet their responsibilities to control pest plants and pest animals and protect remnant vegetation. Natural Resources Northern and Yorke also works with the community on local NRM initiatives, helping to coordinate volunteer groups and assisting environmental programs in schools.
While the NRM levy makes up a large proportion of the Board's total annual budget, it also allows the Board to attract additional Commonwealth Government funding which greatly increases the amount of work that can be accomplished in our region.
The NRM Board contributes towards stimulating regional economic growth through the protection and sustainable use of our natural resources. Amongst many initiatives that are supported and sponsored by the NRM Board, this is achieved through;
- Increasing farm viability by assisting and sponsoring collaborative weed management and control programs
- Improving productivity in the sheep industry by significantly reducing lambing deaths through management and control of predatory animals
- Advances in soil conditioning techniques and no tillage farming techniques
- Support for research into new cultivars of crops that are better suited to our changing climate
The NRM Board encourages the community to consider the levy as an investment in the environmentally sustainable economic growth and prosperity of the region.
• In 2015/16 YTD, $125,000 in community grants have been granted for 19 projects to various recipients including; Southern Yorke Peninsula Landcare Group Inc., Friends of Telowie Gorge Conservation Park, Hart Field Site Group, Ardrossan Progress Association, Port Clinton Progress Association, Yorke Peninsula Alkaline Soils Group, Wakefield Regional Council, South Australian Conservation Research Divers, Port Pirie Youth Service Network, Trees for Life and the West Yorke Peninsula Habitat Group.
• In 2014/15, the provision of $320,000 in community grants across the region to various councils, Landcare and community groups, for activities that align with our NRM Plan, including; Wakefield Regional Council, Upper North Farming Systems, SA No Till Farmers Association, Hart Field site Group, Johnburgh Landcare Group, Northern Sustainable Soils, Ag Excellence Alliance, SA Conservation Research Divers, West Yorke Peninsula Habitat Group, Trees for Life, and many others.
• Support for research and extension activities that assist with the development of sustainable agriculture, including;
- Integrated pest & weed management in stubble retention systems,
- Improving summer grazing practices for increased soil cover,
- Improving pasture sustainability and production, through production zoning,
- The application of BioChar to cropping systems,
- Improving soil cover on erodible soils,
- Managing soil acidity,
- Improving management practices to reduce the effects of snail damage to crops,
- Controlling grassy weeds in no-till production,
- Enhancing the health of farm ecosystems to improve sustainability and productivity.
• Control works undertaken at a landscape scale across 380,000 hectares of land in the Mid North Agricultural District, Yorke Peninsula and southern Flinders Ranges for the control of introduced pest animals such as foxes, goats & rabbits which impact on the health & stability of natural landscapes and the potential for sustainable/profitable production.
• Community driven fox control programs across 190,000 hectares of land on southern Yorke Peninsula and the southern Flinders Ranges, to protect the unique biodiversity of the region and deliver production outcomes. On southern Yorke Peninsula, lambing percentages have increased from 50-60% to 95-110% since the baiting program began.
• The reduction of total grazing pressure in the southern Flinders Ranges through feral goat control across 91,000 hectares.
• The control of Weeds of National Significance and environmental weeds across over 30,000 hectares, through targeted aerial herbicide application, roadside spraying, compliance notices and engagement with landholders and mechanical removal. Major weed and pest plant species of the region include African boxthorn, Blackberry, Boneseed, Briar, Bridal veil, Bridal creeper, Buffel grass, Gorse, Olives & Wheel cactus. Work is also carried out in conjunction with Biosecurity SA to limit or control threats to the region to reduce the negative effect they have on agricultural yields, native habitats and our regional prosperity.
• A second round of aerial boxthorn control to build on the success of the 2015 trial which treated 7320 hectares and more than 19,000 plants, across eighty-eight properties on southern Yorke Peninsula.
• Assistance with pest and weed management across 18,500 hectares of Aboriginal Lands.
• Follow-up rabbit control across 5,000 hectares on southern Yorke Peninsula.
• Revegetation across 528 hectares of land in the Mid North, Yorke Peninsula and southern Flinders Ranges, to help preserve the regions woodland birds and biodiversity.
• Over 48,000 plants established in revegetation activities across the region.
• Active management along 40 kilometres of water course, to improve water quality and deliver water conservation outcomes.
• The management of 43 populations of nationally threatened plant species, to preserve our environment for future generations.
• The engagement of over 3,800 children in the region’s NRM education programs, including Young Environmental Leaders, Environmental Education Days and Nature Play sessions.
• Improving our Community Action Planning (CAP) systems to increase community input into the identification of emergent issues, set regional priorities and develop appropriate management strategies. Through the CAP process, primary producers, business, industry, councils, NGO’s and community groups are now actively involved in setting our priorities for sustainable environmentally responsible economic growth in the region.