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Dubbo farmer working with Aboriginal community

Dubbo farmer working with Aboriginal community to rehabilitate the Macquarie River

Dubbo farmer, Mark Carter, is working with the Aboriginal community and Central West Local Land Services to improve his property's biodiversity and river areas.

Twenty five kilometres south of Dubbo, the project has seen the Macquarie River fenced off to prevent erosion and replanting native vegetation.

As part of the Work for the Dole Program, the Indigenous Concepts and Networking (ICaN) Group, has planted long-stemmed tube stock along 3.5kms of riparian land on 'Strathmore'.

ICaN's James Riley, says that participants in the program are learning important environmental and job seeking skills.

"What we're trying to teach is not just the practical side of getting a job, being able to fill out an application or make a resume – it's about interaction," Mr Riley said.

"It is about being able to communicate with different people on different levels, from government to landholders to our own mob as well."

Mr Riley said the project was also a unique opportunity for participants to work out of town and help rehabilitate the river site.

"We don't often get a chance in the work we to do to get out on country," said Mr Riley.

"I think it's something that a lot of aboriginal people hold pretty close to their heart. It gives us an opportunity to do something where we would never have got an opportunity to do it."

Central West Local Land Services Officer, Libby McIntyre, says that the project is a win win for both the ICaN participants and the environment.

"All of the 3.5 km of this riparian zone has been fenced out, so these trees will get a real chance," Ms McIntyre said.

"It's been a great opportunity to work with a very enthusiastic landholder whose going to see some real change over the next 5 or 10 years."

Host farmer, Mr Carter, said there were many positives about the project and praised the ICaN for doing a good job.

"It goes hand-in-hand in with our running of the farm, and we just like to see things be healthy, so revegetation to us is a good idea." Mr Carter said.

To hear from people involved and take a tour of the project site, visit http://youtu.be/6025u_5TkGc

Central West Local Land Services currently has funding available for revegetation in target areas. To find out more visit www.lls.nsw.gov.au/centralwest

Caption: The ICaN group on the project site (photo available on request).

Media contact: Kristine Long (0427 560 527 or krissy.long@lls.nsw.gov.au)