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Welcome to the Cape York Healthy Country Newsletter

The rush is on to beat the wet season and it is full steam ahead across Cape York. The huge amount of activity at the start of this dry season has continued with tourist numbers only now starting to slow, and mustering continuing as landholders take advantage of the current cattle prices.

The huge amount of activity is also reflected at Cape York NRM, with project delivery accelerating towards the end of the year. This edition of the Healthy Country newsletter highlights the activity that has been delivered in recent months.

The article on pages 12–13 is a great example of how we are helping to improve knowledge about gully erosion on the Cape and the ways in which the damage can be repaired. The first of a series of training programs for Indigenous rangers began late last month on the operation of machinery used in gully erosion mitigation. Not only are the courses helping our waterways, but they provide new qualifications and broaden Ranger skill sets across a range of work opportunities.

The Healthy Farming Futures article on page 5 highlights the coordinated aerial burning and feral animal control program. This program operates across several properties and is based on property planning and discussions with land managers to coordinate broadscale on-ground action to deal with two of Cape York’s big challenges.

The establishment of the Catchments to Coral project has progressed with plans now in place for action spread along the full length of eastern Cape York in an endeavour to protect fragile coastal ecosystems. The article on pages 10–11 recognises the role of the independent reference group in informing the decisions about project priorities and outlines the fire, weed, feral animal and beach protection actions that are being supported.

In addition to project delivery, Cape York NRM has also been busy  implementing the changes to its governance, with the membership approving the new Constitution at the special general meeting in August. This is the first major change to the Constitution since the organisation was formed over 11 years ago and is the culmination of over 12 months of Board and member discussions.

The Board has continued to develop the new strategic plan for the organisation, and identify the skills and resources needed to position the organisation for the future. This has been a big task and the Board has tackled it head on.

We have two important events coming up, and on the opposite page are the notices for our upcoming Annual General Meeting and the Fire Forum. If you are available or interested please get in touch and I hope to see you there or somewhere on the Cape soon.

Warm regards

John Gavin

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