Environment Levy to help rural landholders
  • Wednesday 09 July 2014

More than 110 properties received the wonderful news today they will share in over $382,000 from Sunshine Coast Council’s Environment Levy Landholder Environment Grants to assist their projects that deliver high ecological value and benefit to the Sunshine Coast region.

Holder of Community Programs and Environment Portfolios, Councillor Jenny McKay said the Environment Levy funded Landholder Environment Grants enabled Council to work together with the community to help the environment.

“These grants allow a partnership approach to the delivery of projects that protect our region’s natural assets, preserve the biodiversity of the region and promote ecologically sustainable management of our environment,” said Cr McKay.

“Examples of projects funded include fencing to restrict stock access to vegetation and waterways, revegetation to restore degraded areas or establish vegetation corridors and control of environmental weeds to rehabilitate native vegetation areas.

“Priority was given to projects with high ecological value, creating balance between people and the environment.”

Landholder Environment Grant applicant Ian Webster and Dianne Lanskey were successful in obtaining Environment Levy funding to eliminate weed infestation and to promote natural regeneration to increase native wildlife on their property.

“This grant will enable us to begin a 10 year program to reclaim a highly degraded, erosion and landslip prone area. This ex-forest was cleared (with a bulldozer) years ago and is thick with clumps of four meter high elephant grass and huge lantana,” Mr Webster said.

“The program is a fantastic initiative to encourage landholders like us to try and repair the historically bad land use and management on the Blackall Range.

“The property visits and frequent contact from Council’s Conservation Partnership Officers promotes a sense of family and is a great source of encouragement and advice.

“Becoming involved in the program gives the landholder a sense of community – a community consisting of like-minded individuals dedicated to the restoring and protection of the fragile ecosystem we have; a community working for the much wider Sunshine Coast community.”

The Environment Levy Landholder Environment Grants run each year subject to budget. Application is a three stage process that includes an expression of interest, property visit from a Conservation Partnership Officer and an online application.