Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, BackTrack AgLads Brenden Lowe and Phill Pickford, BackTrack Manager Bernie Shakeshaft and Z-NET Uralla President Sandra Eady at the funding announcement today.
Tuesday, 9 January 2018
URALLA’S winter chills will be kept at bay for decades to come, with a $99,957 NSW Government grant to ensure the community’s favourite heating supply ‘sticks’ around.
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall today joined local firewood collectors in stocking for winter and announced local environment champions Uralla Z-NET had scored the significant NSW Environmental Trust Funding.
“With around 75 per cent of Uralla’s homes using firewood for heat, it’s important that the resource can be collected sustainably and responsibly,” Mr Marshall said.
“The three-year ‘Elephant in the Woodlands’ program will educate landholders, firewood collectors and users to ensure this vital resource can be sourced sustainably well into the future.
“If done poorly, firewood collection can worsen the decline of native forests, and endanger wildlife through habitat destruction,” Mr Marshall said. “However, wise collection has minimal impacts and can help manage the risk of bushfires.
“This program will join up with BackTrack Aglands, Uralla Shire Council, Southern New England Landcare and Local Land Services, demonstrating to locals how to pick the best collection sites through simple biodiversity assessments.
“Through improving local knowledge we can ensure that firewood can be used as a reliable, cost-effective source of warmth for decades to come.”
Mr Marshall said that the program would be run in conjunction with efforts to improve local energy efficiency.
“Uralla is already setting the standard for regional energy usage – with commendable initiatives to produce electricity locally, reduce energy wastage and minimise environmental impacts,” Mr Marshall said.
“This program will address a black-spot in those efforts, ensuring that users can continue using a low-cost heating option while minimising environmental impacts.
“Good environmental stewardship needn’t be a burden and Uralla is leading the charge on helping the environment and your wallet at the same time.”