Grant program to improve biodiversity conservation

Building the region’s resilience to the potential impacts of climate change on significant biodiversity habitat areas is the focus of a grant program now available through Hunter Local Land Services.

Eligible landholders can access funding assistance to protect and enhance native vegetation on their land, address weed and pest threats and help mitigate the effects of climate change on biodiversity, with the Hunter Local Land Services Biodiversity Program 2015-17 now open.

The program contributes to initiatives under the National Landcare Programme to protect and restore the environment.

It is supported by Hunter Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, NSW Government and Hunter Catchment Contributions.

Hunter Senior Land Services Officer Kirby Byrne encouraged landholders with native vegetation on their properties to take advantage of funds.

‘Hunter Local Land Services will provide grants to support landholders to improve landscape connectivity and biodiversity within key focus areas of the Hunter region,’ Ms Byrne said.

‘Grants are available to landholders in major biodiversity corridors connected to the Barrington Tops and the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Areas. It is important that we protect and enhance these corridors, as part of long term efforts to sustain our landscapes and the biodiversity they support.’

Eligible landholders in focus areas can apply for grants to develop property vegetation plans and undertake on-ground works such as natural regeneration of native vegetation, enhancing native vegetation regrowth, establishing native vegetation through planting, and managing threats to biodiversity including invasive weeds and pest animals.

The focus areas include Western Barrington tops to the Liverpool Range; South East Barrington tops to Myall Lakes and Port Stephens; Northern Greater Blue Mountains between Broke, Baerami and south of Cassilis; and Liverpool Range.

‘Hunter Local Land Services is committed to improving native vegetation connectivity for resilience and implementing landscape-scale approaches to deal with threats to the natural environment,’ Ms Byrne said.

‘Landholders play a vital role in connectivity conservation efforts. By working in partnership with them, we are working to protect and enhance native habitat across the Hunter, which strengthens landscape connectivity, improves biodiversity and builds resilience to the impacts of climate change.’

Eligibility criteria and guidelines apply. Expressions of interest should be submitted by midnight on Friday, 18 December 2015. Hunter Local Land Services will work with eligible landholders to develop projects.

For information on the grant program contact Hunter Local Land Services on 1300 795 299.