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Lower Kiewa Catchment Stewardship Project

   

                          

 

Have your say on the management of the Lower Kiewa catchment

Drop-in sessions will be held during May 2022 at the following locations:

  • Yackandandah Community Centre - 23 May 2022, 6.30pm to 8.30pm

  • Kergunyah Memorial Hall - 24 May 2022, 10am to 12pm

  • Baranduda Community Centre - 24 May 2022, 2pm to 4pm

Register at bit.ly/38Y0dkt

For more information, contact Sam Gitahi on 0418 145 240 or email samuel.gitahi@necma.vic.gov.au

The Lower Kiewa catchment area includes a wide range of farming, urban, and natural landscapes from Gundowring downstream to the junction of the Kiewa and Murray Rivers, including Yackandandah and Middle Creek subcatchments.

The Kiewa River is a major river system in north east Victoria and features many important places, valued for their natural and agricultural landscapes. The Country of the Lower Kiewa catchment is also important to its Traditional Owners and First Nations Peoples, and is rich in cultural heritage.

Stewardship Action Plan for the Lower Kiewa

A Stewardship Action Plan is being prepared to guide management of land, water and biodiversity values in the Lower Kiewa catchment. This is an opportunity to support the community to connect and collaborate in catchment stewardship.

The North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA) are leading the development of the Stewardship Action Plan with input from a broader group of stakeholders, government and non-government organisations and the community.

RM Consulting Group (RMCG) have been engaged to support the North East CMA n the preparation of the Action Plan.

We want to hear from you

A key part of the action planning process is to capture community aspirations for the health of the Lower Kiewa catchment.

Over May and June 2022, RMCG are seeking input from the community to shape the Lower Kiewa Stewardship Action Plan. There are a number of ways in which you can share your views.

In addition to the drop-in sessions, a link to a brief online survey will be circulated via North East CMA social media and email distributions in the coming weeks.


2021-24 Kiewa River Waterway Incentives - Kiewa River Sites

WHAT ARE THE WATERWAY INCENTIVES? 

Funding has been made available as part of the Victorian Government's Our Catchments Our Communities: Building on the Legacy for Better Stewardship Integrated Catchment Management program from the North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA) to assist landholders and community groups to improve the health of waterways and catchments in the Lower Kiewa River area. Landholders with rivers, creeks or streams are invited to apply for funding for fencing, revegetation and weed control.

Our Catchments, Our Communities: Building on the Legacy for Better Stewardship program drives a catchment stewardship approach which recognises that the delivery of integrated catchment management is strengthened through enabling community capacity, partnerships and agency.

This funding is provided through North East CMA’s Lower Kiewa Catchment Stewardship Project - Connecting people and landscape, a 3-year project whose objective is to coordinate NRM planning and activities, strengthen networks and build capacity of the community and Traditional Owners to improve the health of the Lower Kiewa. The project is funded out of the $21.75 million of the $223.8 million Victorian Government’s investment in waterway and catchment health from 2021-2024 under Water for Victoria.

The incentives program supports 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.

This program will target sites in the Lower Kiewa Catchment Area downstream of Gundowring (see map). All applications for funding will be assessed on a competitive basis. All works must be completed by 1 December 2022 (depending on level of interest, additional projects may be selected during this round for subsequent years).

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST

The North East CMA is calling for expressions of interest (EOI) from landholders and community groups within the areas of the Lower Kiewa River Catchment.

Once your EOI has been received, a North East CMA staff member will 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.

WHO CAN APPLY?

Individual landholders and community groups can apply 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 Lower Kiewa project area. Priority will be given to landholders with riparian lands/ land adjacent to priority waterways and wetlands.

THE EOI PERIOD WILL RUN FROM 18 FEBRUARY TO 22 MARCH 2022

 

 

ELIGIBILITY AND PROJECT CONDITIONS

To be eligible for funding under the Waterway Incentives program:

  • The applicant must be willing to:
    • Sign up to a 10-yr management agreement and commit to ongoing maintenance of the site.
    • Provide a fencing set back of a minimum of 20 m from the top of the bank. A small tolerance of <10% of fence length within 10 m may be accepted where a fence cannot practically be set back to 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 1 December 2022 (if not before).
  • The EOI form must be filled out in its entirety and received by the CMA by midnight 22 March 2022. Failure to answer the mandatory questions may lead the North East 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.
  • 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.

Activities deemed by the North East CMA to be largely for private asset protection or maintenance will not be funded including: creation of dams, protection of water pump sites, boundary fencing (unless along a waterway), revegetation not connected to a waterway or wetland or catchment health.

FUNDING AND SCORING

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.

Applicants that are successful in receiving funding are expected to contribute labour for the activities.

Table 1 – Rates for Works Associated with the Lower Kiewa Incentives

Eligible Activity

Rate

Standard fencing

$8/m

Electric fencing

$5/m

Modifying an existing fence

$2/m

Revegetation tube stock (includes plant guards)

$3.50 each (capped at $1,500 ha)

Standard weed control (based on site assessment) †

Up to $1,000/ha

 

† 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.

Table 2 shows the assessment scoring system used to rank sites against each other.

Table 2 – Scoring System for the 2018-19 Flood Impacted Sites Waterway Incentives

Criteria

Score

Priority waterways, ISC streams and wetlands

15

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

30

Width of riparian fence setback

30

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

15

Return on investment (incentive $ per hectare)

10

Total

100

 

PAYMENT OF FUNDS

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 incentive funds.

NEXT STEPS ...

1.     Get in touch with the CMA if you need any assistance with your project idea or EOI submission.

2.     Submit your EOI by 22 March 2022 via:

a.     E-mail: incentives@necma.vic.gov.au with ‘Kiewa River Incentives EOI’ – your surname’ as the subject (preferred method).

b.     Post: Incentives Expression of Interest, North East CMA, PO Box 616 Wodonga, VIC 3689.

3.     We will contact you to arrange a site inspection where required and discuss your proposal in more detail or provide an explanation if your EOI does not progress to assessment.

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

North East CMA is committed to protecting your privacy and to the responsible handling of your personal information. The CMA will only use the personal information provided by you for the purposes for which it was collected and any other authorised use. Information the CMA collects may also be used for our own planning and research purposes to improve the services to the community. Information collected may be disclosed to third parties including funding bodies for the purpose of funding announcements, where functions are being outsourced or if disclosure is required or authorised by law.