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Lismore biodiversity initiative gets $100,000 grant

Ken Williams and Adrian George on their 40-hectare property at Georgica, which they have turned from degraded paddocks into a native habitat sanctuary over the last 25 years. The pair were named winners of the Individual Rural Landholder Award at the inaugural Lismore Biodiversity Awards last Friday night. (supplied)

Ken Williams and Adrian George on their 40-hectare property at Georgica, which they have turned from degraded paddocks into a native habitat sanctuary over the last 25 years. The pair were named winners of the Individual Rural Landholder Award at the inaugural Lismore Biodiversity Awards last Friday night. (supplied)

An initiative that helps private rural landholders restore habitat on their properties has received a $100,000 boost.

The NSW Environmental Trust grant will allow Lismore City Council to work with an additional 30 property owners over the next two years to improve biodiversity on the properties.

New plantings on the property of Ken Williams and Adrian George, Rural Landholder Initiative champions, on their 40-hectare property at Georgica. (supplied)

New plantings on the property of Ken Williams and Adrian George, Rural Landholder Initiative champions, on their 40-hectare property at Georgica. (supplied)

The Rural Landholder Initiative is a key project in Council’s Biodiversity Management Strategy and includes on-ground environmental restoration, landholder field days and the development of key educational materials.

An Expression of Interest for rural landholders to undertake projects in 2018 is now open, and interested landholders are encouraged to apply now that extra projects can be undertaken.

The grant funding will provide labour and materials to regenerate more than 50 hectares of high conservation value native vegetation, including endangered ecological communities, threatened species habitat and riparian land.

Methods will include weed control, off-stream stock watering and fencing systems, and the planting of 8,000 native trees.

Ten of the properties will then be showcased in future landholder field day events to demonstrate the rehabilitation techniques to more than 300 other rural landholders.

The council’s Environmental Strategies Officer Kate Steel said the initiative was already over-subscribed with interested landholders and the $100,000 was a very welcome addition.

‘This will allow us to undertake works on many more properties and ensure those landholders who wish to conserve high conservation value habitat on their land have the support to do so,’ she said.

‘Right from the word go, we have been overwhelmed by the response from landholders to the Rural Landholder Initiative. Our local farmers and landholders are proud stewards of their land and want to see enhanced biodiversity and productivity.

‘They see the value in improving their own property, and in turn helping to create corridors and habitat networks across the Local Government Area.

‘This grant allows us to increase the areas we are covering and the landholders we are working with. All the Environmental Trust money will go into on-ground works with private rural landholders. It’s really very exciting.’

Successful projects will receive up to $10,000 in labour and materials to be matched in-kind by landholders.

The Rural Landholder Initiative Expression of Interest is open until 25 January 2018. For more information and to apply, visit www.lismore.nsw.gov.au.


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