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Approximately $940,000 is available through the North East CMA from funding provided through the Victorian Government’s $222 million investment over four years to improve the health of waterways and catchments through the Regional Riparian Action Plan and the Our Catchment Our Communities programs.

Funding for the 2018-19 Waterway Incentives is available over two years to support eligible landholders and community groups to improve the condition and extent of riparian land along waterways and wetlands through:

  • Improving stock management along waterways.
  • Increasing the condition, structure and diversity of native riparian vegetation.
  • Increasing the extent and connectivity of native riparian vegetation.
  • Reducing the impact of invasive pest plants.

Sites on priority waterways and wetlands are a key target of the program and applications for funding will be assessed on a competitive basis. The timing of delivery of individual projects can be negotiated during throughout the process, however, must be completed by 30 April 2020.

This program builds on four years of prior incentives funding with continuous improvement incorporated into its planning and delivery. In 2017-18 the Waterway Incentives provided over half a million dollars to 37 sites (from 107 EOI's received), which will enable the establishment of almost 340 ha weed control, 23 nest box installations, revegetation of 77 ha using over 24,000 tube stock, and almost 25 km of fence construction over approximately 350 ha of project area. To achieve a balance between community engagement and environmental outcomes, the implementation of the program will be delivered across:

  • Whole of catchment – open to all applicants.
  • Targeted reaches – limited to discrete waterway reaches to address specific issues and capitalise on high levels of community demand and support.


The North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA) ran an expression of interest (EOI) process from 1 August to midnight 14 September 2018. THE EOI SUBMISSION PERIOD IS NOW CLOSED.

The program is available to landholders and community groups applying to manage specified sites that are either privately owned or for which they have management rights (such as a Crown land license holder or a Committee of Management on public land) within the North East CMA area of operations. A map has been provided below to highlight the eligible area. Government authorities could can also apply, however, they will be deemed ineligible if the application falls within their current duty of care and/or there are no clear waterway health outcomes.

Thank you to all those who submitted an EOI.

A North East CMA staff member will now undertake a preliminary assessment of your application against eligibility criteria. For eligible sites a site inspection will be arranged to discuss your proposal in more detail or provide an explanation if your EOI does not progress to the next stage. Applications will be assessed against a scoring system that not only looks at the ecological value of the site and the proposed activities but also at the value for money. The highest-scoring eligible applications will be successful in obtaining funding, however, the CMA reserves the right to select projects that achieve the outputs we are contracted to deliver across the catchment.  



To be eligible for funding under the Waterway Incentives program:

  • The EOI form must be filled out in its entirety and received by the North East CMA before midnight Friday 14 Sept 2018. Failure to answer the mandatory questions may lead the CMA to deem the application ineligible.
  • The proposed works must meet the objective of the program and be within the North East CMA’s area of operation.
  • Applicants must have management rights over the proposed project site. A community group must provide evidence that they are a Committee of Management for the proposed project site or they have the written support from the land manager to undertake the proposed works.
  • The site must not be subject to an existing agreement for the same activities. This includes an existing Incentive Management Agreement, tender agreements, offset sites for permitted native vegetation removal (either on-site or third party) or is receiving management payments for biodiversity conservation and restoration works under a current agreement with the CMA.
  • The applicant must be willing to:
    • Sign up to a 10-yr management agreement and commit to on-going maintenance of the site (see below link for a sample management agreement).
    • Provide a fencing set back of a minimum of 10 m from the top of the bank. A small tolerance of <10% of fence length within the 10 m may be accepted where a fence cannot practically be set back the required distance. Note, sites with larger setbacks are preferred and will score higher.     
    • Convert any Crown frontage licences within the project area to a Riparian Licence (or a new licence will be required where the Crown frontage is unlicensed).
    • Comply with any Works on Waterways permit conditions.
    • Complete all project works by 30 April 2020 (if not before).
  • Sites must be sufficiently protected from stock access. Sites that are deemed by the North East CMA as having a high risk of unrestricted stock access (including from a neighbour’s property) may be ineligible.
  • Applicants must have complied with the conditions of any previous grants from the North East CMA.

In addition, activities must not be deemed by the North East CMA to be largely for private asset protection or maintenance; the following activities will not be funded: creation of dams, protection of water pump sites, boundary fencing/planting and windbreaks (unless it's along a waterway).

Download a sample management agreement


Funding will be provided for actions that meet the objectives of the program; eligible on-ground activities include:

  • Stock-management fencing of waterways and wetland areas.
  • Planting of native vegetation to restore riparian habitat and increase connectivity.
  • Control of invasive weeds to assist in the restoration of riparian habitat.
  • Provision of alternative watering points where the original watering point is to be fenced out.

The table below outlines the maximum rates the CMA will provide for eligible activities. Applicants that are successful in receiving funding are expected to contribute labour for the activities.



Standard fencing


Electric fencing


Modifying an existing fence


Revegetation tube stock (includes plant guards)

$3.50 each (capped at $1,750 ha)

Direct Seeding

Up to $1,500/ha

Off-stream watering (50:50 cost share)

Up to $3,000 (capped at $750 per point)

Standard weed control (based on site assessment)

Up to $1,000/ha

Mechanical woody-weed removal (60:40 cost share) *

Up to 60% of the cost (capped at $10,000)

Active bank erosion (50:50 cost share)

Up to $2,000 per project

Weed control costs will only be available to treat current weed infestations. Areas of the project site not currently infested are not eligible for incentive funding.
* The CMA may manage the delivery of large, more complex mechanical woody weed removal sites and/or high priority targeted sites. For these sites, the total cost of weed control would be covered by the CMA.

There is no minimum or maximum funding amount set for individual projects at this stage, however, the North East CMA reserve the right to review this during project evaluation. In addition, applicants need to be realistic about the amount of work they can undertake and contribute to.

The scoring chart shows the assessment system used to rank sites against each other.



Priority waterways and wetlands


Length of riparian area protected; length (perimeter) of wetland protected


Width of riparian fence setback


Linkages to other works and/or quality areas of native vegetation


Return on investment (incentive $ per hectare)




Where EOIs do not match available funding, the CMA will endeavour to assist landholders and groups to identify suitable alternative funding opportunities or other avenues of assistance, where these occur.


The map below shows the North East CMA’s area of operations, and our priority waterways and wetlands.

By clicking on the link below (or copying and pasting it into your web browser) and entering your project’s site address, you will be able to view property boundaries and your proximity to our Priority waterways and wetlands: http://northeastcma.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=205355b523d245d1942355a997e690e5.




For the Waterway Incentives project, there are two payment options available to program participants, depending on whether they are private landholders/land managers or a community group:

  • Landholders: 50% of the total payment will be made upon signing of the contract; and 50% of the total payment will be made upon completion of works and sign-off from the Project Officer.
  • Community Groups: a payment schedule may be negotiated between the applicant and the North East CMA.

Please note that failure to complete the works within the agreed timeframe or to the standard specified in the management agreement may require repayment of all incentive funds.


    For all enquiries relating to the program contact incentives@necma.vic.gov.au or call 1300 216 513.