Our Rural Landholder Initiative assists landholders through education and incentives

The Rural Landholder Initiative is a key part of Council’s Biodiversity Management Strategy. It is a rural landholder capacity building project that involves education opportunities and incentives, largely in the form of small grants. The program was designed with Southern Cross University and works with landholders restore and enhance biodiversity assets on private land.

This program started in 2015 with grant funding from the NSW Environment Trust ($100,000), which was matched by Lismore City Council with another $100,000. The program is now ongoing due to a special rate approved by the NSW Government in February 2016.

The Rural Landholder Initiative was developed based on findings in Southern Cross University’s Incentives Report. This report is based on a 12-month study into the best ways to engage landholders through incentives. This included a landholder survey to find out what farmers wanted and how best Council could help them conserve natural areas on their land.

Biodiversity eNewsletter

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This email newsletter will notify you of upcoming grant opportunities and field days, events, education and training opportunities, and information on weeds and treatments.


Grant Program

The Rural Landholder Initiative recognises the hard work that many landholders have contributed already to restoring Lismore’s biodiversity values. This grant program hopes to build this capacity and to be a catalyst for restoration works on private rural land.

Grant opportunities under the Rural Landholder Initiative program will be advertised in Council’s fortnightly newsletters Local Matters, which is delivered into Lismore letterboxes. The frequency of grant opportunities and the focus of restoration works will depend on the funding available at the time – so keep an eye out.

Generally Council will provide material and professional labor assistance to undertake:

  • Environmental weed control
  • Regeneration and/or revegetation with local native plants
  • Stabilising stock crossing points
  • Plantings for erosion stabilisation
  • Fencing and off-stream watering to exclude livestock from floodplain waterways
  • Landholders are expected to contribute their time and resources to maintain the project sites and in cases work alongside professional bush regenerators.

Projects must demonstrate their real on-ground benefit to high conservation value areas, such as:

  • Linking habitat corridors
  • Restoring rainforest and remnant vegetation
  • Repairing and restoring river and creek banks
  • Creating or enhancing habitat for threatened species, including the koala.

We will let people know when grant opportunities are available via our Lismore Biodiversity News e-newsletter. Sign up now in the Subscribe section at the bottom of this page.

Update on the Rural Landholder Initiative funding grants

We are pleased to announce the outcome of the most recent round of Rural Landholder Initiative funding grants. The grants are delivered to private landholders in the Lismore Local Government Area (LGA) as part of the implementation of the Biodiversity Management Strategy.

Over 95 applications were received from Lismore rural landholders at the end of 2016. $79,500 in on-ground project funds has been made available to 16 landholders spread across the LGA. These include six grazing properties, three orchards and seven lifestyle properties. The projects will be delivered during 2017.

Council is looking forward to working with the landholders to improve the quality and extent of native bushlands and riparian habitat in our region. The landholders will receive professional help from qualified bush regenerators to undertake ecological restoration work.

Funds are made available to assist landholders with weed control, revegetation, fencing for habitat protection, off-stream watering infrastructure and immediate follow-up maintenance. Targeted work on four properties will provide enhanced habitat for koalas.

Five properties on the floodplain are undertaking remediation works to directly improve the state and function of the river system. Projects on the floodplain are directed by the Coastal Zone Management Strategy where high priority is placed on repairing riverbank vegetation.

Other projects include restoration of rainforest communities, and stabilisation and weed control on upper catchment creek banks.

The projects will be spread across the LGA in the following locations:

  • Tucki Tucki
  • Monaltrie
  • South Lismore
  • East Lismore
  • Dungarubba
  • Caniaba
  • Whian Whian
  • South Gundurimba
  • Tuncester
  • Jiggi
  • Nimbin
  • Goolmangar
  • Repentance Creek
  • Terania Creek
  • The Channon

We will be holding field days at five of these locations throughout 2017. Community invitations to the field days will be announced soon.

A third call for Expressions of Interest will be made in late 2017. Landholders planning to apply should consider the information made available on Council’s website regarding eligibility criteria and management practices recommended for healthy landscapes and waterways.

Rural Landholder Initiative 2017 Project Funding

2017 RLI Project Description


2017 RLI Funding

Riparian restoration including fencing to exclude stock, off-stream watering and approx 350 trees planted to expand habitat on 750m of Tucki Tucki Creek. Directed by the Coastal Zone Management Plan.

Tucki Tucki


Riverbank stabilisation including tree planting along the Wilsons River. Directed by the Coastal Zone Management Plan.



Riverbank stabilisation including stock exclusion fencing and 450 trees planted along 1km of Leycester Creek. Directed by the Coastal Zone Management Plan.

South Lismore


Enhancing habitat along a priority riparian zone including 50 trees planted. Directed by the Coastal Zone Management Plan.

East Lismore


Riparian restoration along 100m of Richmond River and expanding habitat for native wildlife including koalas with 400 trees planted. Directed by the Coastal Zone Management Plan.



Bushland restoration in 1ha primary koala habitat. 



Enhancing koala movement through a farming landscape through bushland restoration in primary koala habitat. 

Whian Whian


Expanding primary koala habitat through stock exclusion fencing and revegetation.



Enhancing the resilience of 3.5ha primary koala habitat through stock exclusion fencing and restoration activities.



Riparian restoration targeting cats claw creeper along 380m of Jiggi Creek.



Riparian restoration along 150m of Goolmangar Creek in the upper catchment.



Riparian restoration through stock exclusion and revegetation including 375 trees planted.



Riparian restoration and stock exclusion along Coopers Creek.

Repentance Creek


Rainforest restoration on 0.5ha in the upper catchment.

The Channon


Riparian restoration along 200m of Terania Creek.

Terania Creek


Rainforest restoration over 1.5ha in the upper catchment, including planting 50 trees.

Terania Creek



Farm Health Assessment Tools and Education Booklets

Lismore City Council, in partnership with Southern Cross University, has developed a Farm Health Assessment Tool. This tool enables landholders to self-assess their own land management practices against those identified as ‘out-dated’, ‘common’ or ‘best’ practice' in a range of land use situations. There are suggested pathways for improvement and landholders can use the tools as a form of ‘self-monitoring’ when managing biodiversity on their properties.

These booklets were developed in consultation with industry groups, landholders and relevant experts in land management.

There are four booklets which focus on different land management issues in major industries in the Lismore LGA.

Book 1: Healthy landscapes and waterways (this applies to ALL landowners)

The following books are in addition to Book 1:

Book 2: Beef grazing and dairying

Book 3: Macadamias and other orchards

Book 4: Floodplain cropping

If you wish to provide feedback about the booklets, please email us at council@lismore.nsw.gov.au

Field Days and Events

Free Rural Landholder Initiative Biodiversity Field Days

These field days focus on practical ways to manage rural properties to address common issues such as:

  • Techniques to effectively manage environmental weeds, including camphor laurel, coral trees, lantana, privet etc.
  • Restoring waterways and managing erosion
  • Looking after soil biology to reduce landholder costs
  • Restoring habitat for threatened species such as koalas

The field days are a great opportunity to meet other landholders and to hear about what they have been doing.

These field days are held on properties where the landholders have demonstrated exceptional land management practices and have great vision to improve their land for biodiversity. Council refers to these landholders as ‘landholder champions’.

Council is holding the following five field days in 2017:

Macadamia Orchards and Biodiversity Field Day
Friday, 19 May, 9am-2pm, Whian Whian

Join local macadamia growers and graziers working to improve soil health, productivity and manage native habitat and pest animals on their properties in the upper catchment. Hands-on advice about soil carbon and soil health as well as discussion on ways to improve koala corridors through farms and orchards, and planning successful bush restoration projects. Landholders seeking help with wild dog management will be interested to see a demonstration of options from ‘Tracs’ professional contractors and Local Land Services staff.

Grazing Technology and River Restoration Field Day
Saturday, 3 June, 9am-2pm, South Lismore

Local graziers, dairy farmers and riverbank landholders on the floodplain throughout Lismore are invited to a practical demonstration of riverbank restoration at a property on Leycester Creek. With many landholders in the Leycester Creek catchment reporting bank slips with the recent flood, this event is a timely opportunity to hear from experts on working in these difficult and dynamic areas. We will discuss approaches for revegetation including weed control techniques, species selection, long-stem plantings and dealing with bank slips. Koala and fox detection dog ‘Jet’ from Reconeco will demonstrate innovative detection techniques. Staff from Local Land Services, Conservation Volunteers and V2 Aerial Photography will also present information on the use of technology for farm efficiency such as drones and virtual fencing. Temporary electric fencing for cattle will also be on display as a response to the flood event.

Rural Farmland Ecology Field Day
Friday, 30 June, 9am-1.30pm, Tuncester

Join ecologists and bush regenerators on an informative tour of a grazing property on a spur of the Caniaba plateau, a landscape with both wet and dry forest types and unique ecological features. There will be practical demonstrations of woody weed control techniques and remote camera equipment for wildlife and wild dog management, as well as traps for Indian myna control. An earlier start for bird watchers is on offer but RSVPs are essential.

Practical Property Planning Field Day
Thursday, 3 August, 9am-1.30pm, Jiggi

Farmers, graziers and rural landholders are invited to a fourth generation grazing property to see property planning in action. Topics covered will help you identify natural resource priorities (soil, water, vegetation) on your own property and plan management actions to achieve long and short term goals. Using this property as a case study, experts from a range of organisations will discuss why and how you can start a plan, how to estimate costs of fencing and revegetation, and how to access funding. Whether it is making improvements to grazing management, weed control or improving biodiversity, a property plan is a good land management tool that deserves attention.

Rural Lifestyle/Landholders working together for Biodiversity Field Day
Saturday, 7 October, 9.30am-1.30pm, Terania Creek

Rural landholders in the upper catchments are faced with a range of issues when looking after small to medium-sized lifestyle blocks. Fast-growing weeds, creek bank erosion, and habitat fragmentation are a few issues impacting across property boundaries. This field day will demonstrate how a group of neighbours are working together to restore degraded rainforest areas and control weeds across their boundaries. Professional bushland regenerators will be available to discuss options for restoration, including no and low-chemical techniques. Koala habitat restoration is also occurring amongst the neighbourhood and the group is keen to share the experiences of the work they are doing.

Below is a series of short videos on some of the field days held in 2016 that highlight a range of topics:

Video: Georgica Field Day – Rural Lifestyle and Biodiversity

Video: Whian Whian Field Day – Mixed Orchards and Biodiversity

Video: Coraki Field Day – Floodplain Cropping and Biodiversity

Video: Boarharbour Field Day – Grazing and Biodiversity in our Water Catchments

Other Useful Links and Our Partners

Southern Cross University: http://scu.edu.au/

Rous County Council: https://www.rous.nsw.gov.au/landing.html

Richmond Landcare Inc: http://www.richmondlandcare.org/

Soil Care: http://www.soilcare.org/

Wetlandcare Australia and Conservation Volunteers Australia: http://www.wetlandcare.com.au/index.php

North Coast Local Land Services: http://northcoast.lls.nsw.gov.au/

Friends of the Koala: http://www.friendsofthekoala.org/fok/