Drug Money for Landcare

Equipment seized by police in drug raids can have a more positive purpose in its next life.

Drug Money for Landcare

Equipment seized by police in drug raids can have a more positive purpose in its next life.

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The issue

Many community organisation’s have little to no funding of their own to accomplish various onground activities and awareness raising when it comes to growing crops.

The solution

MML approached local police after a massive marijuana raid and asked for the equipment and inputs used to grow that illicit crop, rather than see this valuable gear being destroyed. The local superintendent agreed MML could have the gear that was left, after it had been cleaned and checked. The understanding was that MML would distribute the equipment to community organisations, schools or not-for-profits. MML distributed the equipment to South Dubbo Public School and Burrendong Arboretum. Some power sources and powerful interior growing lamps were gifted to Dubbo TAFE horticulture department.

The impact

Already the outcomes have been extremely positive – when you offer a partnership with substantial gifts, other organisations are very keen to jump on board. Teachers at Dubbo TAFE and Dubbo South public School say the equipment has been of great benefit, and this has led to great interpersonal and ongoing relationships between all partner organisations. The lights will also be of great benefit for year-round seed propagation at Burrendong Arboretum.

MML also made representations to the highest echelons of NSW Police and the police minister in an attempt to make the gifting of drug equipment to local Landcare groups for distribution across the state a regular procedure.


The project gave great positive PR to NSW Police and great resources to the other partner organisations, who didn’t have to pay for tens of thousands of dollars of sophisticated equipment and various inputs.

Key facts

  • This is one way not-for-profits can partner with government departments at zero cost to the state government.
  • 800 primary students were engaged, as well as TAFE students, and the project is ongoing.
  • If the arrangement were to expand state-wide, it would create hundreds of new and valuable partners for Landcare groups in NSW without it costing the earth.