The GWLAP 2014-15 Annual Report was presented at our AGM in October. The report, including financial statements, shows that GWLAP continues to deliver a strong program of environmental and community engagement activities.
Printed copies are available at the Strathalbyn Natural Resource Centre, 6 Catherine Street, Strathalbyn.
To view an electronic copy, please click the following link:
Following is the report from Chair, Keith Parkes as included in the Annual Report.
GWLAP Chairperson’s Report
Last year I wrote about how the GWLAP Board had worked on re-modelling governance structures to allow more time for strategic development to help us look for other potential forms of income. During the 2014-15 financial year, the Board and staff have continued this process working specifically on business planning and implementation. We are already seeing the benefits of this work with more fee for service income being sought and received.
Alongside our business planning, GWLAP has continued to work closely with our funding partners to ensure we are delivering well on our grant funded projects and meeting the needs of our funders and the community. This year we received three additional Connecting Communities grants from the SA Murray Darling Basin NRM Board, reflecting that we remain in-step with the current direction of the Board.
A highlight for the year was sending a delegation of Board and Staff to the National Landcare Conference in Melbourne. There, GWLAP received the Australian Government Partnerships in Landcare Award, a thrill to be recognised at the National level.
GWLAP have continued to successfully deliver the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth Community Revegetation Project. This large scale project has become a real centre for community involvement in natural resource management. Each week there are newspaper articles, tweets and Facebook posts from different community groups talking about their planting days and positive experiences with the project. In addition, landscape changes can now be seen from the ground and aerial photos, with five years of planting making a real impact around the Lakes and tributaries. We were happy to host the Honourable Ian Hunter for an event to celebrate the involvement of community groups and schools in the project during the planting season.
A bus tour of the GWLAP area showcased some of the large scale weed control that has been undertaken through the Ashbourne to Finniss and Mount Compass to Meadows Biodiversity Links projects. The stark changes in the health of watercourses and bushland as a result of the professional control of woody weeds are very exciting. Some of these areas have been inaccessible to landholders for years due to heavy infestations. Now these areas are able to be better managed and conserved as healthy bushland.
There have been a few staff changes this year, we farewelled Aaron Cheeseman from the Community Revegetation Program and we welcomed Leah Hunter back from maternity leave. We have also welcomed Glenn Gale to the team as Executive Officer for Landcare SA, a position GWLAP are hosting for the association on a fee for service basis.
There have been times this year when future funding was unknown and work opportunities uncertain. This situation is always stressful. I would like to thank and commend the GWLAP staff for remaining flexible and resilient in these times, and I am very happy to still have everyone on board at the end of the financial year. I am looking forward to 2015-16 when I am confident we will reap the benefits of our business planning.
Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Planning Association