Biodiversity Incentive Scheme Grants - Private and Public Landcare

Applications for the 2017/2018 Biodiversity Insentive Scheme Grants program are now open and close at 5.00 pm Friday 5 May.

In the past 10 years biodiversity incentive programs have become increasingly popular with Australian councils. This directly reflects the growing appreciation of residents for the need to protect remnant revegetation and biodiversity values.

A recent survey indicated that only six per cent of indigenous vegetation remains within the municipality, so Council has implemented a range of initiatives to increase native vegetation, including linking patches of remnant vegetation.

As part of the City of Casey Biodiversity Enhancement Strategy, Council offers financial assistance to help private landowners and volunteer public land managers undertake actions that will improve the extent and quality of native vegetation in Casey.

Grant streams available

  • Resident - Private Land Manager
  • Volunteer - Public Land Manager

Assessment criteria

Preference will be given to applications that:

  • Protect large patches of remnant vegetation
  • Revegetation, with preference to use of indigenous native plants
  • Are well planned, including a maintenance program
  • Training
  • Natural environment management planning
  • Demonstrate a level of in-kind contribution. 

Council will not fund:

  • Applications linked to planning permit conditions
  • Activities required as part of planning enforcement.

Timeline and closing dates

Grant applications open 27 March 2017.

Applications Close at 5.00 pm on 5 May 2017.

Applications

Applications for the Biodiversity Incentive Scheme Grants are available via the online SmartyGrants portal.

What assistance is available?

1) Providing grants for fencing remnant vegetation

Fencing is a valuable land management tool for protecting remnant vegetation of any scale. This subsidy will be provided on a per metre basis and the total funding will depend on the fencing material required.

Conditions

  • All material must be as new
  • Maintenance of the fence is the responsibility of the landowner
  • The location of the fence will be determined by the landowner and the Council cooperatively
  • The fence must be stock proof
  • Areas fenced to protect remnant vegetation and environmentally sensitive areas must remain stock free
  • All assistance / payments are at the discretion of the Council officer.

Fencing rebates will be given according to the standard of fence that is required and agreed to by the Council Officer. There will be no restriction on the length of fence; however, the size of the remnant patch being protected will be considered when applications are short listed.

The standard fence is based on one post every 5-10 metres. A standard fence should consist of a minimum of five plain wires (that may be substituted with barbed wire, if desired).

The standard rebate is $10 per metre.

2) Providing grants for weed control

Funding is available to control noxious and environmental weeds on private property. This funding is only available to residents who are already meeting their statutory requirements.

The cost of herbicide will be covered. In some instances where the property has been listed as environmentally significant or is assessed by the relevant Council officer as being so, up to half of the cost for a suitably qualified contractor will be contributed by Council.

3) Providing grants for revegetation projects

Council subsidies will cover up to 100 per cent of the cost of indigenous plants purchased within the scope of the project. Upon assessment by the Council, the cost of site preparation may be subsidised if deemed appropriate.

Conditions

  • All plants must be indigenous to the area
  • Plant list must be approved by the relevant Council officer
  • Plant list must be consistent with ecological vegetation class for the area
  • Plants must be grown from locally sourced seed.

4) Pest animal control

Pest animals including the red fox, European rabbit and feral cats have a significant impact on the natural environment. Funding will require a co-contribution form the land owner and, in some instances, participation by surrounding neighbours.

Conditions

  • All works must be in accordance with best practice
  • Where appropriate a landscape approach should be initiated
  • Pest animal control works are to protect remnant vegetation and areas of high environmental significance
  • Funding assistance is at the discretion of the Council Officer.

5) Technical support

The City of Casey’s Environment Department can provide technical support to residents regarding this program, including reference material and appropriate referral to other relevant organisations.