Biodiversity Conservation Trust Board Director The Hon. Gary Nairn AO, Director Regional Delivery, Alan Goodwin and Mark Sheahan, Regional Coordinator North Coast came and spoke to the Landcare NSW Council as part of the February Council meeting in Sydney.
The Minister for Environment and the BCT Chair, the Hon. Robert Hill, recently launched the BCT’s Business Plan and announced the first round of BCT programs to be rolled out from this month.
The BCT is offering $37 million in its first round of programs in 2018; and will offer a further $60 million in 2018–19.
In March and April, it will call for up to $16 million in tenders from interested landholders to participate in the Conservation Management Program. The first three tender invitations will target high environmental values in parts of the Murray-Riverina, Northern Inland and Central West regions.
BCT Chairperson the Hon. Robert Hill AC said, “In April, we will invite tenders for up to $2 million to protect priority koala habitat, initially on the North Coast.
“We have set aside $2 million to support fixed rate offers to landholders with high biodiversity conservation values on their land wishing to enter funded conservation agreements. This will apply across high priority areas and will be available from 30 April 2018.
“We have dedicated $2 million per annum for Conservation Partners Grants. From 30 April, our existing and new landholders will be able to apply for grants from the BCT to support conservation actions, such as pest or weed control on their properties,” Mr Hill said.
The BCT has also allocated $15 million to its Revolving Fund, which will purchase high conservation value properties and resell them with a conservation agreement to interested purchasers.
The implementation of some BCT programs – such as the Conservation Tender – will require additional support and collaboration from Local Landcare Coordinators and Host Organisations, and the BCT will provide support to Landcare to assist with this.