Grant boost for rural landowners helps create a heathier environment
  • Thursday 16 December 2021
Sunshine Coast hinterland property tree planting

The love rural property owners have for their land was made clear during the recent round of Sunshine Coast Council’s Environment Levy Landholder Grants, with a record number of applications received.

More than $325,000 of the Environment Levy funded grants will be shared among 103 rural landowners to give them a helping hand to carry out restoration projects on their land.

Sunshine Coast Environment and Liveability portfolio councillor Maria Suarez said the grant program supported the delivery of the Sunshine Coast Environment and Liveability Strategy by continuing to conserve and enhance our natural environment.

“It’s hard work weeding a property or installing fences and the grant gives rural property owners the boost they need to get their project done,” Cr Suarez said.

“We are very grateful for their commitment and dedication to our region.

“Many properties connect with nature reserves or national parks or have regionally important creeks and rivers running through them.

“There are projects to remove weeds – like giant devil’s fig, lantana and umbrella tree – to give native plants a chance to regenerate and thrive.

“There are projects to install fences to keep stock out of creeks, so the banks are stable and the  waterways stay healthy.

“Importantly, many of the properties provide habitat for endangered wildlife like the glossy black cockatoo, koala, greater glider, powerful owl, sooty owl, tusked frog or platypus and Mary River cod in the waterways.

“In the long-term, by creating a heathier environment on their own property, the whole community and the biodiversity of our whole region truly benefit.”

Grants are allocated under a rigorous assessment process and applicants who weren’t successful can contact council for feedback. Applications for the 2022 Land Holder Environment grants open in July 2022.

Council will provide guidance to new property owners to help them deliver a successful project.

Example of projects receiving grants:

  • Property with Belli Creek frontage within Mary River catchment—this project is to protect remnant vegetation from grazing threat from 100 head of cattle currently accessing the creek. Approximately 2.4 km of the creek will be fenced to achieve total stock exclusion and establish off-stream watering points. The project will help reduce bank erosion and subsequent run-off that negatively impacts water quality.
  • Property in upper catchment of Lake Baroon—this project is for stage one of a three-stage project working in the gully line to remove weeds such as privet, camphor, giant devil's fig and ochna.
  • Stage eight of a project to revegetate all gullies on the property—this stage will focus on an area that currently has very little vegetation and is impacted by stock. Previous projects have been maintained well and natural regeneration is occurring.