23/09/2016
National Landcare Awards winner from Dagun

Federal Member for Wide Bay, Llew O’Brien, today congratulated Stephen Burgess, of Dagun, the winner of the 2016 Bob Hawke Landcare award, who was recognised at the National Landcare Awards gala dinner in Melbourne last night.

Stephen Burgess has run Wurraglen Nature Refuge for nearly 20 years and has successfully developed the property, combining sustainable market farming and light grazing.  Stephen’s blend of biological and organic farming principles combined with holistic management practices demonstrates every aspect of the Landcare ethic.

“Mr Burgess’ contributions to Landcare will continue to make a real difference across the region long after his projects have been realised,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This award is a reflection of the remarkable achievements Mr Burgess has accomplished through the National Landcare Programme.

“We can only improve agricultural productivity and the environment in Wide Bay if the future of our precious natural resource base is assured.

“The work of Mr Burgess is making a lasting contribution, not only to the health of our land, but to the economic and social prospects of Wide Bay.

“I congratulate all the winners and finalists at this week’s national awards, but I offer special congratulations to Mr Burgess, from Wide Bay, as the winner of the National Landcare Award, it is an outstanding achievement.”

Formerly the McKell Medal, the Bob Hawke Landcare Award was first awarded in 2012 and acknowledges an individual who has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to caring for the land; champions better land management practices; and gives their time to share knowledge with others so that they too can prosper.

Through the National Landcare Programme, the Australian Government is investing $1 billion over four years to help communities deliver more sustainable agriculture as well as supporting the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of Australia’s natural environment.

The National Landcare Awards, which took place at the Melbourne Convention Centre, were presented during the 2016 National Landcare Conference. Based around the theme ‘Collaborative Communities – Landcare in Action’, the conference offers insights from community leaders and innovators on the latest trends and technologies in natural resource management.