The NSW Government has awarded $1,092,270 to 13 Local Aboriginal Land Councils for community waste projects designed to clean up and prevent illegal dumping on their land.
According to an EPA statement, Cowra, Dubbo, Worimi, Illawarra, Mindaribba, Wanaruah, Ngambri, Tibooburra, Amaroo, Cobowra and Menindee Local Aboriginal Land Councils have been awarded a total of $692,270 from the Aboriginal Land Clean Up and Prevention (ALCUP) program.
“Cleaning up a heritage property, developing a bush tucker garden, revegetating a historic campground, removing asbestos waste and stopping illegal access to dumping hot spots are among the planned ALCUP projects and clean-up activities,” the statement reads.
EPA Executive Director Regulatory Operations Regional Carmen Dwyer said many Aboriginal communities faced waste disposal barriers due to lack of services, resources and limited access to waste management facilities.
“The EPA recognises the difficult and diverse challenges faced in many remote Aboriginal communities and is committed to helping local land councils improve their environment and create long-term change,” Ms Dwyer said.
“This funding will help Local Aboriginal Land Councils tackle issues in their areas. Illegal dumping of waste is a common problem, and these grants will help make a big difference to local communities.”
A total of $726,181 has already been awarded under the ALCUP, funded through the state government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.
Ms Dwyer said the program encourages community education and partnerships, and incorporates cultural activities to reduce and prevent the occurrence of illegal dumping.
“Previously, the program has funded clean-up work, surveillance cameras, deterrence signage, education and awareness programs and bush regeneration,” she said.
“Since 2006, the program has seen 6108 tonnes of waste cleaned up, 1344 tonnes of waste safely disposed of at landfills and 1706 tonnes of materials recycled.”
Additionally, Moree, Amaroo and Walgett Local Aboriginal Land Councils have been awarded a total of $400,000 under the Aboriginal Communities Waste Management Program (ACWMP).
“The three ACWMP projects receiving funding will tackle bulky waste and litter in a variety of unique ways, including cleaning out a dam to restock with fish, removing damaged cars, clearing demolished house materials, removing dumped waste from riverbanks, unblocking drains, planting native grasses, growing bush tucker medicines and starting vegetable gardens and chicken-keeping,” the EPA statement reads.
“Aboriginal community members will be employed by some land councils as rangers or to undertake the work.”
The $4 million ACWMP is funded for four years until 2021.