Conservation and Land Management
The Conservation and Land Management industry includes the following sectors:
- Community Coordination & Facilitation
- Land, Parks & Wildlife
- Natural Area Restoration
- Indigenous Land Management
- Vertebrate Pest Management
- Weed Management
Community Coordination and Facilitation
During the 1990's Australia experienced a major shift towards community participation in natural resource management. By 2002 there were over 4,000 autonomous volunteer community groups and their grass roots leaders fostered by the "Decade of Landcare". While most of these groups comprise farmers and other landowners seeking to increase the sustainability of their own land use, there are also hundreds of groups in cities and towns across Australia working to conserve and protect parks, bushland, creeks, rivers and streets. An ethic of land stewardship drives hundreds of community groups working along our coasts. There are other community-based networks, with more specific interests such as forestry and fishery management.
Lands, Parks and Wildlife
Employment in lands, parks and wildlife at state and territory levels occurs across a range of departments often with multiple responsibilities that may include primary industry, heritage, land and water conservation, forestry, coastal protection and fisheries. There are also a number of private or non-government organisations working in natural and cultural resource management including private parks/reserves, community groups, land councils, mining and some local governments. It is estimated that there are some 10,000 people employed in this industry across Australia.
Natural Area Restoration
There are over 2,000 students engaged in related formal studies with the demand for training - and traineeships - extremely high. Many secondary schools are keen to train in this area. There are approximately 100,000 people involved in natural area restoration predominantly as volunteers. However, 'real jobs' are estimated at around 8,000 comprising Federal, State and Local Government, consultants and project related workers.
Indigenous Land Management
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples own or lease some 17 per cent of the Australian land area. A large proportion of this land has been degraded by inappropriate land use in the past and there is a growing responsibility for those living in these areas to manage and rehabilitate their land. The management required is a mixture of western land management practices combined with local knowledge and practices. Some 270,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in these regions. The number of people formally employed in land management-related activities is estimated at 10,000 in work such as tourism, national parks, agriculture, horticulture and land and sea management while many communities have established joint management agreements with government agencies. Indigenous people are employed by Federal, State and Local Government in land management and by local communities.
Vertebrate Pest Management
It is estimated the industry employs over 2,500 people covering Rural Lands Protection Boards, private contractors, National Feral Animal Control Program, Federal, State and Local Government agencies. These figures do not include those employed in vertebrate pest control by lands, parks and wildlife and indigenous land management sectors.
The industry employs over 5,000 people covering private contractors, federal, state government and local government agencies and a further 50,000 volunteers in Land Care, Bush Care, Coast Care and similar programs (www.ntis.gov.au).
The Conservation and Land Management (CLM) staff have extensive CLM industry experience, knowledge and qualifications. They are actively involved in the industry.
CLM students are involved in community projects. Training is based at Benalla and the new Rural Industries Campus Wangaratta with traineeship and assessment done in the workplace as well as on campus.
The aim of the training package is to provide skills and knowledge specific to the needs of the CLM industry and the employer. This competency-based training program is predominantly delivered on-the-job in existing workplaces however GOTAFE can offer flexibility in the modes of delivery.
The training package is structured to be self-paced and flexible. Participants will obtain a nationally accredited certificate in CLM. It also allows participants and employers to tailor the training program to incorporate units from different areas if desired. For example, units from Horticulture and Agriculture Training Packages can be incorporated into the training. The participant and employer have the flexibility of choosing the subjects that are most relevant to the business.
Programs can lead to positions such as:
- catchment management officer
- field staff/operator
- park ranger
- landcare coordinator
- water management officer
- environmental planner
- education officer