Our Rural Landholder Initiative assists landholders through education and incentives

The Rural Landholder Initiative is a key part of Council’s Biodiversity Management Strategy. It is a rural landholder capacity building project that involves education opportunities and incentives, largely in the form of small grants. The program was designed with Southern Cross University and works with landholders restore and enhance biodiversity assets on private land.

This program started in 2015 with grant funding from the NSW Environment Trust ($100,000), which was matched by Lismore City Council with another $100,000. The program is now ongoing due to a special rate approved by the NSW Government in February 2016.

The Rural Landholder Initiative was developed based on findings in Southern Cross University’s Incentives Report. This report is based on a 12-month study into the best ways to engage landholders through incentives. This included a landholder survey to find out what farmers wanted and how best Council could help them conserve natural areas on their land.

Biodiversity eNewsletter

Go to the bottom of this webpage and sign up in the Subscribe section for our quarterly Lismore Biodiversity News.

This email newsletter will notify you of upcoming grant opportunities and field days, events, education and training opportunities, and information on weeds and treatments.


Grant Program

The Rural Landholder Initiative recognises the hard work that many landholders have contributed already to restoring Lismore’s biodiversity values. This grant program hopes to build this capacity and to be a catalyst for restoration works on private rural land.

Grant opportunities under the Rural Landholder Initiative program will be advertised in Council’s fortnightly newsletters Local Matters, which is delivered into Lismore letterboxes. The frequency of grant opportunities and the focus of restoration works will depend on the funding available at the time – so keep an eye out.

Generally Council will provide material and professional labor assistance to undertake:

  • Environmental weed control
  • Regeneration and/or revegetation with local native plants
  • Stabilising stock crossing points
  • Plantings for erosion stabilisation
  • Fencing and off-stream watering to exclude livestock from floodplain waterways
  • Landholders are expected to contribute their time and resources to maintain the project sites and in cases work alongside professional bush regenerators.

Projects must demonstrate their real on-ground benefit to high conservation value areas, such as:

  • Linking habitat corridors
  • Restoring rainforest and remnant vegetation
  • Repairing and restoring river and creek banks
  • Creating or enhancing habitat for threatened species, including the koala.

We will let people know when grant opportunities are available via our Lismore Biodiversity News e-newsletter. Sign up now in the Subscribe section at the bottom of this page.

Update on the Rural Landholder Initiative funding grants

We are pleased to announce the outcome of the most recent round of Rural Landholder Initiative funding grants. The grants are delivered to private landholders in the Lismore Local Government Area (LGA) as part of the implementation of the Biodiversity Management Strategy.

Over 95 applications were received from Lismore rural landholders at the end of 2016. $79,500 in on-ground project funds has been made available to 16 landholders spread across the LGA. These include six grazing properties, three orchards and seven lifestyle properties. The projects will be delivered during 2017.

Council is looking forward to working with the landholders to improve the quality and extent of native bushlands and riparian habitat in our region. The landholders will receive professional help from qualified bush regenerators to undertake ecological restoration work.

Funds are made available to assist landholders with weed control, revegetation, fencing for habitat protection, off-stream watering infrastructure and immediate follow-up maintenance. Targeted work on four properties will provide enhanced habitat for koalas.

Five properties on the floodplain are undertaking remediation works to directly improve the state and function of the river system. Projects on the floodplain are directed by the Coastal Zone Management Strategy where high priority is placed on repairing riverbank vegetation.

Other projects include restoration of rainforest communities, and stabilisation and weed control on upper catchment creek banks.

The projects will be spread across the LGA in the following locations:

  • Tucki Tucki
  • Monaltrie
  • South Lismore
  • East Lismore
  • Dungarubba
  • Caniaba
  • Whian Whian
  • South Gundurimba
  • Tuncester
  • Jiggi
  • Nimbin
  • Goolmangar
  • Repentance Creek
  • Terania Creek
  • The Channon

We will be holding field days at five of these locations throughout 2017. Community invitations to the field days will be announced soon.

A third call for Expressions of Interest will be made in late 2017. Landholders planning to apply should consider the information made available on Council’s website regarding eligibility criteria and management practices recommended for healthy landscapes and waterways.

Farm Health Assessment Tools and Education Booklets

Lismore City Council, in partnership with Southern Cross University, has developed a Farm Health Assessment Tool. This tool enables landholders to self-assess their own land management practices against those identified as ‘out-dated’, ‘common’ or ‘best’ practice' in a range of land use situations. There are suggested pathways for improvement and landholders can use the tools as a form of ‘self-monitoring’ when managing biodiversity on their properties.

These booklets were developed in consultation with industry groups, landholders and relevant experts in land management.

There are four booklets which focus on different land management issues in major industries in the Lismore LGA.

Book 1: Healthy landscapes and waterways (this applies to ALL landowners)

The following books are in addition to Book 1:

Book 2: Beef grazing and dairying

Book 3: Macadamias and other orchards

Book 4: Floodplain cropping

If you wish to provide feedback about the booklets, please email us at council@lismore.nsw.gov.au

Field Days and Events

Free Rural Landholder Initiative Biodiversity Field Days

These field days focus on practical ways to manage rural properties to address common issues such as:

  • Techniques to effectively manage environmental weeds, including camphor laurel, coral trees, lantana, privet etc.
  • Restoring waterways and managing erosion
  • Looking after soil biology to reduce landholder costs
  • Restoring habitat for threatened species such as koalas

The field days are a great opportunity to meet other landholders and to hear about what they have been doing.

These field days are held on properties where the landholders have demonstrated exceptional land management practices and have great vision to improve their land for biodiversity. Council refers to these landholders as ‘landholder champions’.

Council will hold five field days every year that focus on five major land uses: floodplain cropping, beef grazing, orcharding (including macadamias), dairying and ‘lifestyle’ properties.

A series of short videos on some of the field days highlights the range of topics and interested participants:

Video: Georgica Field Day – Rural Lifestyle and Biodiversity

Video: Whian Whian Field Day – Mixed Orchards and Biodiversity

Video: Coraki Field Day – Floodplain Cropping and Biodiversity

Video: Boarharbour Field Day – Grazing and Biodiversity in our Water Catchments

Other Useful Links and Our Partners

Southern Cross University: http://scu.edu.au/

Rous County Council: https://www.rous.nsw.gov.au/landing.html

Richmond Landcare Inc: http://www.richmondlandcare.org/

Soil Care: http://www.soilcare.org/

Wetlandcare Australia and Conservation Volunteers Australia: http://www.wetlandcare.com.au/index.php

North Coast Local Land Services: http://northcoast.lls.nsw.gov.au/

Friends of the Koala: http://www.friendsofthekoala.org/fok/