- Monday 06 June 2022
For the past five years, a group of rural landholders have been working together to restore 10 hectares of forest north of Maleny, with support from Sunshine Coast Council’s Landholder Environment Grants.
And from July 18, the Environment Levy funded grants will open once again for expressions of interest for the 2022 funding round.
Rural landowners can apply for financial help to complete on-ground environment projects on their private property.
Grants are available for projects including bush regeneration, reducing sediment loss on farms, controlling environmental weeds, modifying non-boundary fencing to make it wildlife friendly, revegetating degraded areas, and to establish vegetation corridors and buffer zones.
Sunshine Coast Council Environment Portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said the grants were funded by the Environment Levy and delivered on council’s Environment and Liveability Strategy objectives.
“Year on year, the Landholder Environment Grants continue to support rural property owners to restore their properties and council is very proud to be a partner in their success,” Cr Suarez said.
“One success story is in the upper Mary River Catchment, at Manduka Nature Refuge.”
Since 2016, with the support of the Landholder Environment Grants, a cooperative of landholders has been working together to restore more than 10 hectares of forest gullies and Eucalypt woodland to eliminate and manage introduced weeds and exotic plants throughout the property.
In 2021, the cooperative continued a four hectare restoration project to remove woody weeds including lantana (Lantana camara), ochna (Ochna serrulata), broad-leaved privet (Ligustrum lucidum) plus easter cassia (Senna pendula var. glabrata) and encourage native regeneration.
Restoring this gully will have major benefits to the surrounding ecosystem and catchment including enhancing habitat for locally threatened species such as koalas, restoring Whardjin creek and the adjoining Bridge Creek and improving water quality in Bridge Creek.
Cr Suarez encouraged rural landholders to check the guidelines on council’s website to see if their project was eligible.
“Priority will be given to projects with high ecological value and those which have good landowner co-contribution,” she said.
“Last year 60 recipients shared in $325,000 under the Landholder Environment Grants program.
“The Landholder Environment Grants help rural property owners enhance their beautiful slice of the Sunshine Coast, which benefits the biodiversity of our whole region.”
Only private rural landholders can apply, and the project must occur on privately owned rural land within the Sunshine Coast Local Government area.
Applying is a three-stage process:
1. Expressions of Interest open July 18, 2022. Submit an Expression of Interest before August 22, 2022
2. Site visit from a council Conservation Partnerships Officer to assess the project and provide any additional guidance
3. Apply online before October 10, 2022.
Please read the Landholder Environment Grant Guidelines at https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/Living-and-Community/Grants-and-Funding/Grants-Programs/Environment-Levy-Grants/Landholder-Environment-Grants.