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TASMANIAN COUNTRY, Friday, March 20, 2015 09
Midlands in damage control
DECADES of drought, farm-
ing and land clearing have
taken their toll on the Tasma-
nian Midlands, but a new pro-
gram is now reversing some of
that environmental damage.
The Midlands Restoration
Program is the largest project
of its kind in Australia, involv-
ing more than 1000ha and
21km of riparian zones.
This week the program re-
ceived a $550,000 boost from
the Ian Potter Foundation,
which has now contributed
$1 million to the project. It is
the largest private donation to
landscape restoration in Tas-
One of the main aims of the
25-year project is to protect
remnant native grasslands and
woodlands and create corri-
dors for native wildlife to ac-
cess food and water.
As part of the program,
120,000 trees will be planted in
strategic sites and along ripar-
ian zones of the Macquarie
Several Tasmanian busi-
nesses and farmers, as well as
the Federal Government, have
given money to the program,
run by Greening Australia.
One of the farmers taking
part is Roderick O’Connor,
“I’m really proud to be one
of the first groups to get in-
volved because to me we don’t
have a choice. We can’t leave
things as they are,” Mr O’Con-
“We have to embrace this,
and if you have someone will-
ing to help you like the groups
involved with this project,
we’ve got to get on board.
“I’d encourage other land-
owners to get involved because
there are patches on their
place they can do things with
that actually do help.”
So far about 140ha on Con-
norville is included in the pro-
ject, but this is likely to
increase over time.
The work includes planting
trees and also fencing off sensi-
tive areas to prevent damage
by feral deer.
“What’s really encouraging
for me is that I, as a farmer, can
put some funding into this my-
self, once we know how to do it
and we get the model right,
rather than relying on huge
amounts of external funding,”
Mr O’Connor said.
“The first thing that ap-
pealed to me was the scale of
the project and where they are
“There are probably four or
five other farms and it is sig-
“I’ve tried doing some of
this before and if you get the
seasons wrong it’s quite a cost-
ly procedure, so to me it was a
Fun of the fair and fresh fare, too
TOMORROW’S Bream Creek Show will
open up its big country heart to help satisfy
growing demand for fine local fare.
The show maintains its tradition of farm
fresh food, with fresh leafy vegetables
grown in Bream Creek Farmers Market
community garden to be offered at a stall.
Community garden volunteers Helen
Whitaker and Ellie Taylor said this was the
garden’s first season, but it had been
“We planted in December and are really
happy with results, it’s been a great
learning experience,” Mrs Taylor said.
Publicity officer Meg Bignell said this
year’s show featured the Crack Up sisters’
thigh-slapping and whip-cracking show.
The show is crammed with old
favourites, such as the Hall of Industries,
tree-felling state championship, children’s
games, animal nursery, roving performers
and yard dog trials.
A giant pumpkin, estimated to weigh a
whopping 400kg and grown by Shane
Newitt’s daughters Bella and Jessica is in
line to claim the title of Australia’s biggest
pumpkin grown by juniors.
Entry from 9am costs $10, children $5
and $25 a family. For details go to
CORNUCOPIA: Helen Whitaker with her daughters Fina and Olive Harris and Florence Taylor among the crops in the Bream Creek community garden.
Picture: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES
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