NSW environment minister Robyn Parker yesterday announced additional funding to encourage private landholders to create and maintain conservation areas on their properties.
Ms Parker said the NSW government, through the NSW Environmental Trust, has made the $2 million available over six years to the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife to expand its small but successful Private Land Conservation Grants Program.
The funds will come as welcome relief to many private landowners who have remnant or regenerated forest areas on their properties, which they find difficult and expensive to maintain. In the last financial year the Foundation had just $75,000 to distribute for regeneration and weed control programs covering hundreds of private properties in NSW.
Ms Parker said the Private Land Conservation Grants Program acknowledged individuals who do conservation work on their own land.
‘It supports them in their commitment to taking care of Australia’s natural environment to protect biodiversity and for the enjoyment and wellbeing of future generations,’ Ms Parker said.
A number of environmental agreements over private land are currently in operation, and in many cases these agreements place requirements on the landholder to maintain revegetated areas, but until now there has been little financial incentive to do so.
Ms Parker said that parallel to the $2 million grant, she had established a working group of environmental representatives to find ways to slash through red tape around private land conservation and encourage more people to consider it.
‘The working party will look at incentives for landowners to tackle conservation, such as tax and rates cuts,’ she said.
Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife CEO Steve Corbett welcomed the announcement of $2 million funding to support landholders committed to conservation.
Extra funds will be now be available for landholders with Conservation or Trust Agreements, Registered Property Agreements, conservation-related Protected Vegetation Plans, Wildlife Refuges and Land for Wildlife property registrations.