The Mulloon Institute (TMI) welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison to its campus at Mulloon Creek Natural Farms (MCNF) on Thursday (25 October), to see first-hand how landscape repair and rehydration is boosting the farm’s drought resilience and improving agricultural output.
Situated between Bungendore and Braidwood, the not-for-profit Mulloon Institute has been a leading light land rehydration. Through research, education and advocacy, TMI links environment, farming and society through practical demonstration.
Gary Nairn AO, Chairman of The Mulloon Institute said, “Prime Minister Morrison said his first priority upon taking office would be dealing with the drought. I’m pleased he has taken this time to visit us and see just how our work can help rehydrate the Australian landscape, giving farmers the opportunity to withstand future climate extremes.”
Mr Nairn, the former Liberal Member for Eden-Monaro, said, “Today the Prime Minister saw first-hand the results of our landscape rehydration work at Mulloon Creek, where despite our driest seven month period on record water continues to trickle through our leaky weir at Peter’s Pond. The leaky weir designed by Peter Andrews OAM sits at the end of a 3km section of repaired creek that had previously been deeply incised and eroded post-European settlement.”
“The PM was able to see how the creek’s repair over the last ten years using Natural Sequence Farming and Regenerative Agriculture has rehydrated the adjoining landscape and boosted its stock carrying capacity by 60 per cent.”
“Restoring and rehydrating our landscapes also has the added bonus of putting more carbon back in the soil where it belongs. In fact, the Australian landscape has the capacity to easily store enough carbon to neutralise our nation’s industrial emissions,” Mr Nairn said.
Works to repair the landscape and creek at Mulloon are being constantly monitored and evaluated using scientific instruments installed strategically along the creek and in the landscape.
“We have partnerships with the Australian National University, University of Canberra and other tertiary institutions to collect extensive data on what is happening in the landscape and the effects of our work. That valuable data now dates back several decades.”
“We are also partnering with the world’s oldest agricultural research centre, Rothamsted Research UK, to explore a joint research project on data-driven innovation in agriculture.”
“That project would be based on our Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project (MCLRP) which spans a 23,000ha catchment and 50kms of creeks, and has been selected by the United Nations under its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as one of only five global demonstration projects,” he said.
“Today I have given the Prime Minister vital information on how the landscape rehydration work he has seen could be rolled out across the country, including the policy, on-ground works, research, education and training required.
“This drought isn’t over by a long shot, but even when it is there will be another one. Short fix subsidies are ultimately not the answer. The best use of tax payers’ money is for it to be invested in repairing and rehydrating our landscapes and assisting our farmers to transition to more regenerative farming practices,” Gary Nairn concluded.