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Information for Partners of LWA in collaborative Programs

The Australian Government has announced that as part of the 2009-10 Budget it will be abolishing Land & Water Australia.

The Corporation’s Board and management are shocked and devastated by this decision, and we know these feelings are shared by many of our partners and researchers. This is particularly so given LWA’s reputation as one of Australia’s key public good environmental research funding organisations.

LWA is currently considering the implications of this decision, including the terms of its current Program and Project Agreements and the effect of the relevant provisions of the Primary Industries and Energy Research Development Act 1989, pursuant to which LWA is established.

In that context LWA is developing a plan for the wind-up or transfer of the Programs and Projects presently administered by LWA. LWA is working to identify opportunities to preserve as many of its current Programs as possible. LWA has secured limited funding for the financial year 2009-10. This funding will enable LWA to meet all staff entitlements and to establish a small wind-up team to facilitate the wind-up of LWA’s affairs.

That budget may enable the provision of some ongoing funding for some collaborative research Programs for financial year 2009-10. However, any collaborative Program will be able to continue only if another entity is willing to administer the Program in place of LWA, appropriate arrangements can be agreed in the available time frame, and the Program funding remains available. Therefore, LWA is not currently in a position where it can guarantee that any Program will continue into the next financial year, and LWA cannot provide any further guidance or assurance at this stage.

LWA will be discussing options for the future with Program Management Committees and its partners over the next few weeks. LWA will let individual partners know the outcome of those discussions in relation to each Program.

LWA is aiming to maximise the outcomes from as many of LWA’s existing investments as possible. However, most regrettably, a number of very worthwhile Programs and Projects will have to be terminated as a result of the abolition of LWA.

LWA greatly appreciates the support and positive responses we have received from so many friends since the news became public. If you have any thoughts that you would like to pass on regarding LWA, please send them to LWA Executive Director Dr Michael Robinson (michael.robinson@lwa.gov.au), who will collate and pass these on the Board and staff (as appropriate).

We very much understand the impact that the Government’s decision to abolish LWA may have on many other organisations and individuals.

We urge partners and others to consider any employment opportunities for the passionate and professional staff of LWA. Many of these skilled employees are facing the prospect of being without work in the coming months given the short notice of this decision.

Dr Michael Robinson
Executive Director