The Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce has marked World Soil Day by encouraging local residents to play their part in improving the condition of Australian soils.
“Without healthy soils our environment will suffer, and our farmers will struggle to produce the clean, green produce for which they are world-famous,” Mr Joyce said.
“The food we eat every day depends on the quality of Australia’s soil. World Soil Day celebrates this vital piece of the food puzzle and its contribution not only to what ends up on our plates, but also to climate regulation, water, biodiversity and natural habitat.
“Locally, we can all play a small part in maintaining and improving soil health through simple steps like proper use of garden and farm chemicals, composting, and erosion prevention.
“The Australian Government recognises the important of soil health. Through the National Landcare Programme the Government is investing a total of $1 billion over four years to 2017-18 to help communities deliver more sustainable agriculture, and support the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of Australia’s natural environment.
“This funding supports farmers and other land managers to adopt practices that promote soil health, including reduced tillage, retaining good ground cover to reduce soil loss from erosion, and addressing soil acidification.
“Initiatives like World Soil Day and soil champions like our own National Advocate for Soil Health, Major General the Hon. Michael Jeffery, can get people talking and looking at new and better ways to manage and understand our soils.
“World Soil Day unites scientists, farmers and other land managers, and offers up unique insights on the processes underpinning changes in our landscape, how they can be improved, and how we can all work together to make sure the foundation of our food production remains healthy and prosperous for generations to come.”
For more information about Landcare Australia, or to connect with your local Landcare group, visit www.landcareaustralia.org.au