Conservation on private land will get a significant boost with the delivery of the first round of Heritage Agreement grants under the Marshall Liberal Government’s $3 million Revitalising Private Conservation in South Australia program.
A total of 70 recipients shared in more than $429,000 in grant funding in the first round. The initial small grant round offers Heritage Agreement property owners up to $10,000 for conservation projects to help better manage their Heritage Agreement areas. Large grants for between $10,000 and $250,000 are now open for applications closing 19 April 2021.
The grants program allows the State Government, in association with five leading nature conservation not-for profit organisations, to work in partnership with private landholders to conserve native vegetation and deliver practical outcomes including purchase of materials and services for pest plant and animal control programs, fencing, revegetation and threatened species assessments.
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said since 1980, Heritage Agreements have been helping to protect and restore important native bushland across South Australia, and the ecosystems that depend on them.
“In South Australia, Heritage Agreements are a proven way to support private landowners to protect important bushland and achieve conservation outcomes that benefit the state and the landholders,” Minister Speirs said.
“Since 1980 landholders have established more than 1,600 Heritage Agreements, which ensures the long-term protection of 1.8 million hectares of the state’s diverse and beautiful native vegetation.
“These agreements support our back-to-basics approach for landscape and nature conservation management and deliver improved environmental and economic outcomes in partnership with private landholders.
“Improving native vegetation on private land protects and enhances biodiversity and improves landscape sustainability through enhanced water and soil condition.
“Unfortunately, the former Labor Government turned its back on Heritage Agreements reducing the annual funding from $1 million to just $4,000.
“This is just another example of the former government failing to take practical action to improve our environment and ignoring South Australia’s regions - something we are fixing.”
70 Round 1 small grant applicants, totalling $429,000 have been successful for activities including:
- Fenceline maintenance such as fencing off a small seed bank area to support wombat habitat restoration
- Pest plant and animal control such as Integrated Rabbit control on a Padthaway HA using new forms of rabbit control endorsed by Biosecurity SA.
- Threatened species recovery such as the application for Rockleigh Habitat Restoration to Support Diamond Firetail Finch Recovery.
- Fire recovery actions and planning such as Post fire recovery assessment to understand plant species dynamics to inform restoration to build resilient landscapes.
The Revitalising Private Conservation in South Australia program brings together a partnership of South Australia’s leading environmental and agricultural producer organisations, including Nature Foundation, Livestock SA, Conservation SA, Nature Conservation Society of South Australia, and Trees For Life. The program is led by the Nature Foundation as the principal delivery partner working closely with the Department for Environment and Water which funds the program.
Current and prospective Heritage Agreement landholders can learn more at www.revitalisingconservationsa.org.au, and also find the full list of successful Round 1 grant recipients.