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$61M for Back Paddock Conservation Areas

The NSW Government has $61.4 million worth of funds for farmers and landholders who want to turn the back paddock into a conservation area.

“We are encouraging land owners with land that has potential for conservation to apply for funding to manage that land for the betterment of the local environment,” Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said.

“It does not mean we are asking for the land to be handed over to anybody, but we are willing to help landowners to fund the work needed to manage it as a conservation area.

“We want to work side by side with land owners to find the best way to preserve their local environment.  It’s a win for the environment, a win for landholders, and it’s a win for the community,” she said.

Altogether, some $61.4 million in new NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) funding for 2018-19 to support NSW landholders is now available, she said.

“The four Conservation Tenders launched earlier in the year got a very strong interest from landholders, so we are hoping that others will follow suit.

“So far, more than 270,000 hectares of private land are being managed as conservation areas around the state.  Keeping private land as private land but adding to the amount of high grade conservation land is a great outcome,” she said.

BCT Chairperson the Hon. Robert Hill AC said there had been hundreds of inquiries from landholders about the BCT’s first round of programs since March 2018.

“The BCT’s first four Conservation Tenders were heavily subscribed and strong interest in the BCT’s first rounds of Fixed Rate Offers and Conservation Partners Grants proves there is a real appetite for private land conservation right across NSW,” he said.

“The funding in 2018-19 is part of the NSW Government’s unprecedented investment of $240 million over five years to 2020-21, and $70 million per year ongoing, in a new private land conservation program, to be delivered by the BCT as part of the government’s land management and biodiversity conservation reforms.”


The BCT has committed $46.6 million to its Conservation Tenders in 2018-19 and is expecting to call for expressions of interest from willing landholders to participate in new tenders in August 2018 and February 2019.

The BCT has committed a further $10 million for its Fixed Rate Offers in 2018-19. Landholders can express interest in an in-perpetuity conservation agreement in high-priority conservation areas in NSW, to be funded at a fixed price in dollars per hectare per annum to manage parts of their property for conservation.

The BCT has also committed $2 million to continue its Conservation Partners Grants in 2018-19. Eligible landholders with an agreement with the BCT who do not receive annual conservation management payments can apply. The grants can help landholders maintain the ecological value of properties by funding activities such as fencing, pest and weed control, supplementary planting and habitat restoration.

Click on the link below for further information.

Gabrielle Upton med rel – turning the back paddock into a conservation area

2018 Youth Survey

Mission Australia have just **extended the deadline** for  2018 Youth Survey

Opportunity to get involved:

The Mission Australia Youth Survey seeks to hear the concerns, thoughts, and aspirations of young people between the ages of 15 to 19 across Australia. It has a particular focus on education, engagement and safety in community, and wellbeing. We have extended the closing date to participate to the 8th of August!

Potential areas of interest:

Attached is a copy of last year’s Youth Survey report. Potential areas of interest include:

The national Youth Survey results around

  • Activities young people are involved in – such as sports, volunteer work, and cultural activities (p.25-26)

And specific results for young people from NSW

  • Activities young people are involved in – such as sports, volunteer work, and cultural activities (p.71-72).

We are able to offer complimentary tailored reports to organisations that anticipate being able to collect 60 or more responses. These reports detail Youth Survey results from young people in your region, and can be a valuable resource for informing youth community programs and services. I have attached a sample (school) report to this email for your consideration. If you would like a report, please contact us at and I will allocate your local council a code for young people to enter when completing the survey online.

To get involved:

  • Help us to share the news about the Youth Survey by sharing the link online via social media –
  • Organise a community event and encourage young people to get involved, or,
  • Simply ask young people in your services and programs to take part and share the survey online with their friends and family!

If you would like any support from Mission Australia or have questions about the process, please get in touch with us at

We are very thankful for your support – any and all responses help us to gain a representative picture of young people across Australia. We look forward to seeing the results!

The Research and Evaluation Team
Sector Engagement
Mission Australia

Ground Floor 212 Pirie Street, Aelaide SA 5000

08 82182851

Click on the links below for examples and information

The Example School Report

MA Youth Survey 2017-Web


Young Historians Tour Battlefields of Europe

Member for Murray Austin Evans welcomed the launch of the 2018 ClubsNSW ANZAC Ambassadors Program and is encouraging local high school students to take part in the essay competition.

Austin  encourages students from across Murray electorate to apply for the ANZAC Ambassadors Program for the chance of a lifetime to retrace the steps of our ANZACS who gave so much for our country.  Click on the following link for all the information.


Ambassadors Program 2018 Media Release

Plein Air Painting Prize Open for Entries



Member for Murray Austin Evans is encouraging professional and emerging artists with a penchant for painting en plein air to enter the NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize for a chance to win $20,000.

Mr Evans said the coveted award is the only one of its type in the state of NSW, and includes a public exhibition of finalists’ works at NSW Parliament House throughout October 2018.

The NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize is one of the only landscape painting prizes in Australia to celebrate this unique and age-old art form, which requires the artist to paint entirely out of doors, in direct contact with nature and the elements. Artists cross fields, climb mountains, follow rivers, trek coastlines, or even simply wander out into their backyard or neighbourhood in search of the perfect subject.

“We have some incredible natural and urban scenery and I’d encourage local artists to pack their paints and easels and have a go at capturing the area en plein air,” said Mr Evans.

“Who knows, you could be the lucky recipient of the $20,000 prize,” he said.

Now in its 11th year, the prize has gained a reputation for shining a spotlight on professional and emerging plein air painters, and is one of the most eagerly anticipated landscape painting prizes on the NSW arts calendar.

It has furthered the careers of past winners including Tom Carment, Guy Maestri, Noel McKenna, Euan Macleod, Rodney Pople, John Bokor, Isabel Gomez and most recently, Rachel Ellis.

Artists are invited to enter up to two paintings completed en plein air of a New South Wales subject, with the work begun on or after 1 May 2016. So pick up your brushes, your easels and your canvasses and get painting!

Entries will be accepted from Monday 2 July to Monday 6 August 2018 via electronic submission. For more information, including important dates, conditions of entry and the entry form please visit

or click on the link for more information. – Plein Air art prize

Nominate Now for the 2018 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards

Each year thousands of people from across the Murray electorate readily volunteer their time to help others without asking for anything in return.

Volunteers are committed to supporting important local causes including young people, families in need, the environment and people with a disability. They’re at the centre of our community and help make it the caring, compassionate and kind-hearted place we all know.

While their social contribution is immeasurable, recent analysis from the Productivity Commission values their economic contribution at more than $5 billion each year across NSW.

A great way to give something back to all our amazing volunteers is to say thank you by nominating them for the 2018 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards. The awards are organised by the Centre for Volunteering and are the largest formal celebration of volunteering in Australia.

A regional award ceremony will be held in our local area from August, with a number of special volunteers chosen to represent us at the state ceremony later in the year.

You can nominate your neighbours, colleagues or family members for one of seven award categories.

Nominations close on Friday 13 July.

To nominate your volunteers go to or click on the following link for further information.  Volunteering awards LTE

Development Application No. 49/2018 – Workers Accommodation Facility

A Development Application No 49/2018 and Statement of Environmental Effects has been submitted to Balranald Shire Council as the consent authority for assessment.

Applicant: James Golsworthy Consulting

Description: Workers Accommodation Facility

Location: 61 Bank Street, Balranald NSW 2715

Lot 37, 38 & 39 DP 751170

The subject Development Application and Statement of Environmental Effects are on display from the 29th June 2018 to the 27th July 2018 at the Balranald Shire Council Office, 70 Market Street Balranald NSW 2715 and on Councils website at

Any person may lodge a written submission, during the exhibition period, to Balranald Shire Council concerning the Development Application. If the submission is by way of objection, the grounds of the objection must be specified in the submission.

Written submissions will be received up until 4:00pm 27th July 2018 and should be addressed to the General Manager, Balranald Shire Council,
PO Box 120, Balranald NSW 2715

Any person who makes a submission by way of objection and is dissatisfied with the determination of the consent authority to grant development consent, may appeal to the Land and Environment Court.

Council may publish the name, address and the submissions of the person/s or organisation/s from whom a submission is received, unless clear instruction is given other than this information is not to be published.

For further information please contact Councils Director Infrastructure & Development, Mr Andre Pretorius, on 03 5020 1300.

Michael Kitzelmann

General Manager

DA 49.2018 – Accommodation Facility DA Form

DA 49.2018 – Accommodation Facility DA Plans

DA 49.2018 – Accommodation Facility DA SEE


Market Streetscape Revitalisation Balranald

Community Listening Post – Friday 6th July 2018 9am – 12noon. Click on the link below for all the information

Listening Post Flyer


Media Release – Balranald Caravan Park Operations

Please click on the link to read the following Media Release which has been circulated  —  Caravan Park Media Release

Media Release – Local Teachers urged to Apply for scholarships

Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell has announced that applications for the next round of the NSW Government’s Rural and Remote Early Childhood Education scholarships are open now until 9 June 2018.

Mr Evans said these scholarships have already had an impact on services across Murray and NSW.

 “These scholarships are flexible and can be used for a number of costs incurred during studies. This could include textbooks, travel costs, technology to support study, or course fees.

“He strongly urge anyone who is eligible to think about applying.”

Click on the link below for further information

Rural and Remote Early Childhood Round 4 open

Media Release – Three month NSW Gun Amnesty starts July 1st

Member for Murray, Austin Evans is urging anyone in the Murray community with an unregistered or unwanted firearm to take advantage of the NSW Firearm Amnesty from 1st July to 30 September 2018.  Click on the link for all the information.

Firearm amnesty