Local Environmental Excellence Recognised on World Environment Day

Published on 05 June 2019

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Moyne Shire is celebrating World Environment Day today by announcing the recipients of Council’s annual Environmental Sustainability Awards. The awards program began in 2016, and recognises local organisations, groups and individuals committed to improved environmental management.

Moyne Shire Mayor, Councillor Mick Wolfe presented the two Environmental Sustainability Awards: the Short-term Award (for work completed within the past two years) and the Long-term Award (for contribution over a number of years).

The Short-term Award was presented to James and Nicole Finnigan from Kia Ora Merino, Winslow and their focus on sustainable and ethical farming practises.

“Some of the key elements to James and Nicole’s management include, improving water quality, not using inorganic fertilizers, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and selective breeding of livestock for flystrike and worm resistance,” Councillor Wolfe said.

“They also have a policy of 100% recycling or reuse and have eliminated environmentally damaging practises such as the use of plastic silage wrap.”

In 2018, Kia Ora Merino achieved accreditation under the global Responsible Wool Standard, one of only 70 farms in Australia.

The Long-term Award was presented to David and Susan Rowbottom, also merino farmers, for their ongoing commitment to protecting the St Helens Flora Reserve near Yambuk.

“David and Susan have been voluntary custodians of the reserve since 1975, preventing the last known breeding population of the Southern Brown Bandicoot in Moyne Shire becoming extinct,” Councillor Wolfe said.

“They have also saved rare gliders and native flora from extinction through their work, including advocating government for protection of the reserve, maintaining firebreaks, treating weeds and implementing fox control measures.”

“David and Susan are true environmental crusaders and this award is our way of thanking them for their commitment and contribution over five decades.”

Nominations for the annual Moyne Shire Environmental Sustainability Awards are assessed on a project’s improvement to the environment, community involvement, and the level of inspiration it can provide to improve environmental management across the Shire.