October 6, 2021
Farmers in the Burnett-Mary region have been invited to take part in a pilot program that will reward them for improving native vegetation on their properties.
The Burnett-Mary is one of six regions across Australia – and the only one in Queensland – chosen to take part in the Federal Government’s $22.3 million Enhancing Remnant Vegetation Pilot.
Applications close on October 27.
Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien said the pilot would support farmers to protect, manage and improve remnant native vegetation on their land.
“Farmers in Wide Bay and throughout the Burnett-Mary region know the land, they love it, and they look after it – and this pilot scheme is a way of recognising their efforts in caring for our natural environment,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Supported projects will vary from farm to farm depending on their needs. It may be as simple as fencing off parts of the property that are already home to native vegetation, or it might involve ongoing pest and weed management.
“We’re putting a value on farm native vegetation that farmers have cared for through generations. It’s good for the environment, and farmers can make a buck out of it.”
Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said the pilot scheme would give farmers and primary producers the opportunity to diversify their incomes.
“Many farmers have remnant vegetation on their properties, and this pilot means they can get a cash return on looking after the land they already care for as part of their property maintenance,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“This is not about locking up land so that it can’t be used, instead it is having an integrated system that still enables production to occur on productive land while protecting biodiversity.”
Agriculture Minister and Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the pilot was a key part of the Federal Government’s $66.1 million Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Package to help farmers get paid for improving biodiversity on-farm.
“The Enhancing Remnant Vegetation Pilot is trialling a market-based system that will see farmers being paid for their biodiversity management,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Over time, the aim is to roll these pilots out to more farmers, making them widely available and fuelled by private sector investment.
Interested farmers can learn more and apply to take part in the Enhancing Remnant Vegetation pilot on the Department of Agriculture’s website