MEET JIM DICKENS
– Treasurer, Whitsunday Catchment Landcare
The Whitsunday region attracts visitors from all over the world who expect to see a picture perfect landscape, resembling the travel brochure images.
Managing the variety of landscapes from the ranges to the reef is a role delegated to governments and shared with groups like Whitsunday Catchment Landcare (WCL).
WCL Treasurer Jim Dickens often steps into Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership (HRRP) meetings when the chairman is unavailable. As a community volunteer, WCL was the perfect fit for this retiree after 40 years in land management. Jim brings a wealth of knowledge in both native forests and timber plantations in a number of different roles.
Jim has learnt a lot about non-commercial plants during his three years with WCL.
“The local Landcare group contribute quite a bit to the environmental sustainability of the area in both revegetation, mainly along riparian areas of Whitsunday Council land. We also run an average size nursery at Kelsey Creek that provides plants for a range of projects, as well as to the community,” Jim said.
As a non-profit community group, WCL benefits financially from their connections to government and Reef Catchments in particular who help with funding, which in turn goes back into the environment. “We recycle that money through producing plants at the nursery or other environmental projects, council actually pay us to do feral pig control for example,” Jim said.
With many projects involving weed and pest control through the region, WCL saw the benefits of collaborating with the Partnership.
Although Jim feels it’ll take several years of data collection to eventually get to a point where trends can be identified, he’s confident that will provide a clear vision for future management.
“I’ve always believed if you don’t monitor you can’t tell where you’re going and this group are heavily involved in the monitoring process, so it’s that monitoring that will hopefully identify priority areas for expenditure of funds and improvement.”
Visit www.healthyriverstoreef.org.au to find out more about the partnership and subscribe to latest news.