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Landholder and community grants applications now open

August 30

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The North East Catchment Management Authority (North East CMA) has $1 million in grants and incentives available for landholders and community groups in the region to support local solutions within our catchment.

The Landholder and Community Grants are funded through a range of Victorian Government funding including the Regional Riparian Action Plan and Our Catchment Our Communities programs and the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme. The expressions of interest process opened August 30.

Landholders and community groups across the catchment are invited to submit an expression of interest for projects that will manage and improve waterways, fish habitat, wetlands and areas of native vegetation.  Community groups including Landcare groups and networks, angling groups, industry and Friends groups are also invited to submit ideas on natural resource management and sustainable agriculture projects including running events and training, on farm trials, innovative ideas as well as on-ground works.   

North East CMA Manager Program Implementation, Adam Green, said North East CMA wanted to encourage local ideas, innovation and partnerships that would help to protect and improve natural resources in our catchment.

Local people best understand local priorities and have a passion for protecting their local landscapes, and this will provide greater opportunities for this to happen,” Mr Green said.

“North East CMA supports great ideas and encourages new partnerships. We’re inviting expressions of interest to enable landholders and community groups to access financial assistance and advice from a variety of sources.”

Kergunyah landholder Les Pearce successfully applied for a landholder grant in 2016-17.

Mr Pearce said: “I applied because I have been fencing our Kiewa River water frontage over the last two years, and I have also received funding through North East CMA prior to that to fence and revegetate Cherry Tree Creek, which runs from the hills into the Kiewa River on our property. We have over three kilometres of river frontage and I feel that there are many benefits in undertaking this work.”

“The grants provide a helping hand for the cost of fencing materials and the plants. As a producer, fencing of waterways prevents cattle and calves from falling and drowning in creeks and waterways. It is also helpful for preventing cattle from crossing the river when it is low into adjoining properties. The trees provide a shelterbelt and shade for cattle, which is very useful,” he said.

He said the grants also provided environmental benefits to his property. “Fencing off the creek and river has helped prevent erosion of banks and it stops cattle dung from entering the waterway. Since fencing off Cherry Tree Creek I have noticed the regeneration of the Common Reed (Australis phragmitis) and also an increase in the number of native birds in the revegetated areas. Our property has a number of very old River Red Gum trees. Many along the river have now been fenced off. This will help keep them healthy into the future.”

Les encouraged other landholders to apply for this year’s round of landholder and community grants.

“We found the application process user friendly and North East CMA staff good to work with. We are in an ongoing relationship to work towards getting our river frontage fully fenced. We would suggest making a connection with the CMA. There are many benefits to be enjoyed, from both a productive and environmental perspective. We are pleased with the work we have done on our property. It will benefit generations to come,” he said.

Expressions of Interest close 9am, October 11.