ReSource RICA is a community project which aims to help overcome some serious environmental concerns in a manner that also builds community and aims to address issues of social justice with the Koori peoples of Victoria. It is an inclusive community organisation based on the principles of consensus and equality, in which membership is not financially determined.
The Moonambel Land
The block consists of 55 ha (136 acres) of hill, which was cleared by ringbarking about 70 years ago. Much of the timber from the hill was used for supports in the nearby Percydale gold mines that were still operating well into last century. There remain many dead standing trees on the land. The degraded hill is a high recharge area. The result of this clearance is sheet and tunnel erosion on the hill and gullies and the raising of the watertable on surrounding properties.
The area is regarded as semi-arid (annual rainfall below 500mm) and part of the Central Victorian, Box-Ironbark Forest and Woodland belt, being located near the western end. The soil is mostly red sedimentary metamorphic rock with scattered quartz. The grasscover is mainly native annual grasses with some small stands of Kangaroo Grass (Themeda australis). There are minimal noxious weeds.
There is regrowth on the neighbouring property to the west and bush leading up to it from the south. The hills to the north are forested and link up to the Kara Kara National Park. This cleared, eroded and degraded hill is therefore the missing link between the forested north and south Pyrenees Ranges.
Presently we have around 50 members. Many have considerable experience in environmental resource management and community development and all possess a diverse range of valuable skills and abilities. Others have participated and contributed to the project, including the Dja Dja Warung people, the previous property owner, local people, school groups, interested friends and expert consultants with experience in revegetation, erosion, local issues and land management.
We aim to raise more funds through donations, grants and crowd-funding. Funds will be needed for ongoing statutory costs and for the purposes of propagating plants, revegetation, erosion control, land improvement and property maintenance. We hope to continue our planting efforts with particular attention to erosion control and work on the Warrenmang side of the hill.
Our aim is to strengthen our links with the local community and network with other individuals and groups with similar interests and involvement in environmental projects. This website has been developed to keep people updated on the project.
In the longer term we aim to create a significant land area that will inspire others and one that members, contributors and local people can take pride in and enjoy.
When purchased in 2001, the land was severely degraded and eroded and the only four or five mature trees remaining were in poor condition.
Since the formal establishment of ReSource RICA the Moonambel property has been purchased with member contributions and an opening and welcoming ceremony has been held with the Dja Dja Warung people. Regular meetings and working bees have been held on the block.
Through the ongoing assistance of member and non-member donations and grants from Australian Government Envirofund, approximately 14,000 indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses have been planted. The removal of stock from the hill has allowed native grasses and ground cover to make a remarkable recovery. A communal shed has been built for shelter and the storage of tools. Fencing has been mended and the difficult and ongoing issues of erosion, and the eradication of feral species has received attention. Already the revegetation of the land has resulted in a welcome return of birds and wildlife.
ReSource RICA has formed alliances and gained support from the North Central Catchment Management Authority, the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Environment Australia and the local community.
ReSource RICA is an Incorporated Association under the Associations Incorporation Act (1981) Vic and the constitution can be viewed by writing to the Registrar of Incorporated Associations at Consumer & Business Affairs Victoria, Department of Justice.
How can you help?
You can help us in many ways, such as growing seed at home, joining us on planned revegetation days, participating in meetings and planning, helping with environmental monitoring, or assisting with ongoing financial costs of the project.
Andy Roy/Phil larwill/YvonneM/PhilM
In earlier days, lots of work to be done.
Kids in the dam. Photograph taken from almost the same spot as above, roughly ten years later.