Rural Landholder Initiative grant round now open

Thursday, 08 November

Expressions of Interest for round six of Lismore City Council’s Rural Landholder Initiative small grants program are now open.

The program is open to landholders with rural properties bigger than two hectares who wish to improve their land through ecological restoration, revegetation and associated fencing and off-stream watering.

The program provides grants of up to $5000 for primary works in the first year, with restoration projects eligible for second year funds of $2500. Sites along floodplain riverbanks can apply for up to $10,000 if works include fencing and off-stream watering.

“This is a great way to get help for a project you have started or kick-start a restoration project you have been planning to put into action,” Council’s Rural Landholder Initiative Extension Officer Kate Steel said.

“These funds are about helping farmers and landholders to enhance and protect biodiversity on their land, which helps to improve habitat and water quality for our native wildlife, as well as increase farm productivity. We urge interested people to hurry – the deadline for applications is only five weeks away.”

Funds are available for landholders who wish to undertake the following works:

  • Bush regeneration restoring areas of native habitat or revegetation with local native plants.
  • Assistance with environmental weed control.
  • Plantings for erosion stabilisation using local native plants.
  • Purchasing fencing materials to control livestock in riparian and wetland areas, and remnant vegetation improvement.
  • Purchasing off-stream watering equipment to protect waterways from stock impact.
  • Stabilising stock crossing points.

The Rural Landholder Initiative is a cornerstone of Council’s Biodiversity Management Strategy and has been operating for three years. In that time 70 on-ground projects have been supported with around 27,000 tree planted, 90 hectares of native vegetation under restoration and 10km of river and creek banks being restored.

Council has also held 22 free landholder field days attended by hundreds of farmers and landholders from throughout the Lismore Local Government Area and beyond.

“This year we hosted five Rural Landholder Initiative field days and they were as popular as ever,” Kate said.

“Local landholders come together to share ideas and learn up-to-date techniques in weed control, restoration and best-practice farming. It’s a great opportunity for knowledge to be shared and for people to ask questions and find solutions to land management issues.

“A major message of these events is the importance of a well thought-out and planned project. If you wish to apply for funds this year, our Environmental Strategies staff can help landholders with ideas, knowledge and resources. However, the single most important thing you can do to make your project more attractive for funding is to get started yourself. A simple project plan will show us what you are already doing, where you need some extra help and what your overall goals are.”

Anyone considering applying for funds is welcome to make use of the resources available on the Lismore City Council website to plan a project and address questions in the application.

The Expression of Interest round closes on Thursday, 13 December for new projects that will begin in mid-2019. To apply, visit our Rural Landholder Initiative page.

For more information or to discuss your project and eligibility, contact Kate Steel on 1300 87 83 87.

Image: A Rural Landholder Initiative field day at Rosebank

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