A voluntary property-registration scheme that encourages and helps nature conservation on private land was launched by Tweed mayor Barry Longland at World Environment Day celebrations at Murwillumbah’s Knox Park on Sunday.
First established in Victoria in 1981 and now delivered nationwide, Land for Wildlife is a voluntary property registration scheme that helps private landholders manage wildlife habitat on their property. The program encourages and assists nature conservation on private land, irrespective of other land uses.
‘Land for Wildlife is free to join, is not legally binding and does not alter a property’s legal status,’ Cr Longland said.
‘Tweed Shire is recognised as a biodiversity hotspot. It contains a tremendous variety of plants and animals, many of which are found nowhere else.
‘Private land accounts for 86 per cent of the Tweed and harbours significant biodiversity. So naturally, private landholders play a key role in nature conservation and the Land for Wildlife program supports this role,’ he said.
Land for Wildlife welcomes landholders who have a property with at least half a hectare of native vegetation, who manage some of their property as native habitat and who want to integrate nature conservation with other land uses.
Landholders who do not initially qualify for registration may qualify for a ‘working towards’ category where assistance is provided to help them work towards full registration.
A simple process is used to determine eligibility. Once an expression of interest has been lodged, council’s biodiversity project officer, Michael Corke, will arrange a time to visit the property and make an assessment of its biodiversity values, existing management issues, what the landholder aims to achieve and the extent to which wildlife habitat conservation will be integrated into other land management practices.
‘Once registered for the program, landholders receive a Land for Wildlife sign, a comprehensive nature conservation resource kit, free advice on native plants and wildlife that occur on their properties and threat abatement, such as weed control techniques.
‘They will also receive a regular newsletter and invitations to workshops and field days,’ Mr Corke said.
‘Land for Wildlife offers landholders opportunities to learn about the natural heritage values of their land, to share information and experiences with others and it recognises the significant contributions private landholders make to nature conservation in the Tweed Shire,’ he said.
For more information about the program, call Mr Corke, on 02 6670 2592 or email [email protected]