A finewool-growing family operation near Winslow in Victoria’s south-west won the Premier’s Regional Recognition Award and the Small and Medium Enterprises Award at the Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2019 for their sustainable wool production.
Kia Ora Merino’s E.S.P. or Ethical, Sustainable, Profitable wool production is now a feature of the Finnigan family farm, pulling together existing data and knowledge, and using independent consultants to change farm practices such as reducing chemical use, changing genetic selection of sheep, sowing permanent pastures, slowing or stopping runoff into rivers and increasing carbon sequestration.
The Responsible Wool Standard was the basis to develop policies, procedures and practices. Welfare, land care and biosecurity considerations are now part of an integrated document, externally audited, and its principles are being adopted.
Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney name said local organisation, Kia Ora Merino, demonstrates how Victoria is home not only to leading international sustainability thinkers, but also everyday people working at a grassroots level who share their skills, knowledge and experience.
“The Finnigan family should be very proud of their achievement and are terrific local ambassadors for sustainability,” she said.
Now in their 17th year, the Premier’s Sustainability Awards are Victoria’s most high profile sustainability awards program across business, government, health, education, volunteering and community.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP, congratulated all winners and finalists across each of the awards’ eleven categories, saying ‘It’s inspiring to see such passionate and inspirational people, dedicated to delivering social, economic and environmental benefits for Victoria.”
The Premier’s Recognition Award was won by Enable Social Enterprises for helping disadvantaged Victorians connect with their community and environment to gain employment.
For more information on this year’s finalists and winners, visit www.sustainabilityawards.vic.gov.au