Australia has relied heavily on voluntary approaches to managing critical natural resource issues. Community Landcare groups are an important element of this strategy and have been widely acclaimed as an Australian success story. Landcare group activity has mobilised a large cross-section of the rural community and contributed to improved resource management. These volunteer groups are now an important delivery mechanism for on-the-ground work funded through large government programmes, including the billion dollar Natural Heritage Trust. At the same time, research reported in this paper suggests that government cuts to extension staff supporting Landcare and ongoing management issues are contributing to burn-out of group members and are undermining group effectiveness. Australia may be nearing the limits of voluntary approaches to natural resource management. At the very least, there needs to be more coherent, professional management of Landcare.