Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, last night congratulated the winner of the 2016 Bob Hawke Landcare Award, Stephen Burgess, of Queensland.
Presented every two years, Minister Hartsuyker said the preeminent award recognises an outstanding champion of the land who promotes best practice techniques and inspires enthusiasm and knowledge in others.
"Mr Burgess is a very deserving recipient of the Bob Hawke Landcare Award and will be awarded $50,000 to further develop his knowledge and skills in Landcare and sustainable land management practices," Minister Hartsuyker said.
"Mr Burgess has run Wurraglen Nature Refuge in Dagun, Queensland for nearly 20 years, focusing on sustainable market farming and light grazing.
"He is an enthusiastic and practical supporter of sustainable agriculture, having previously developed 'NPDecide', a program widely adopted in the WA Wheatbelt to improve fertiliser efficiency and reduce leaching losses.
"Mr Burgess possesses all the qualities that will define the future of effective natural resource management across Australia's natural environment, our farms and our communities.
"We can only improve agricultural productivity if the future of our precious natural resource base is assured.
"So the work of Mr Burgess—and every finalist in this award—has a genuine impact not only on the health of our land, but on the prospects of the nation.
"I very much look forward to exploring new opportunities with him into the future."
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.
In congratulating Stephen Burgess, Minister Hartsuyker also acknowledged award finalists Gwendolyn Adams, from Tasmania and Glenn Morris, from NSW.
"All three finalists of the Bob Hawke Landcare Award represent the dedication and knowledge of sustainable agriculture and the Landcare movement," Minister Hartsuyker said. Based around the theme 'Collaborative Communities – Landcare in Action', the 2016 National Landcare Conference offers insights from community leaders and innovators on the latest trends and technologies in natural resource management.
The Bob Hawke Landcare Award is an initiative of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
MEDIA RELEASE: Originally from Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, 'Landcare champion recognised'