Council Support Provides Certainty

Historic MOU firms up partnership

Council Support Provides Certainty

Historic MOU firms up partnership

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The issue

Since it formed in 1993, Southern New England Landcare has been supported by local government in the Guyra, Armidale, Uralla and Walcha areas. In particular, local government in the Armidale area has assisted by subsidising rent on the Landcare Resource Centre, contributing to the Malpas Catchment Project Officer salary, and providing finances to maintain landcare group plantings in Armidale's urban spaces.

However, the annual 'pilgrimage' to Council to seek support for the next financial year had become time-consuming, and funding was always hopeful, but never guaranteed. Landcare needed more certainty and agreement it could rely on.

The solution

With help from our Local Landcare Coordinator, we approached Council via a community grant opportunity. When this proved unsuccessful, Council invited us to discuss the merits of forming a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a three year period. The parties entered negotiations in August 2016. After two key meetings and several drafts, on 1st March 2017, an agreement had been struck, approved by Council, and signed during a public launch on the creek lands in Armidale.

The impact

The agreement sets out the comittment by both parties in three areas:

  1. Financial support for the Landcare Community Resource Centre to the value of $10,000 per year. As a not-for-profit that harnesses the power of community, its grants are never allowed to be spent on rent.
  2. Salary support for the Malpas Catchment Project Officer for $20,000 per year. Since 1998 the Malpas Catchment Project has coordinated activities and works to improve water quality in the Malpas and Guyra Dams.
  3. Financial support for Armidale Urban Planting Maintenance Project to the value of $29,000 per year. This project allows the community to maintain the healthy condition of various biodiversity sites in Armidale and engage with a broad cross-section of volunteers to raise awareness.

We are currently six months into the agreement and steadily gaining progress against our goals and outcomes.


  • Approaching Council via a grant failed, but direct discussion in meetings and demonstrations proved fruitful.

Key facts

  • Council and Landcare have formalised their partnership with an MOU.
  • Council will support Landcare to the value of $69,000 per year for three years.
  • Landcare will harness the power of community to achieve environmental outcomes.

Project Partners