Council is seeking to conserve fauna and flora on private property. By way of encouragement, council will recognise and support landowners through two different programs: Land for Wildlife and Voluntary Conservation Covenants.
Both programs are essentially a voluntary agreement with council to conserve areas of habitat, but each provides a different level of support as well as impact on the property title. The Land for Wildlife program is applicable to a wide range of situations and does not affect the property title. The Voluntary Conservation Covenants program is only applicable to larger properties with higher conservation values. Landowners are able to apply for a covenant if areas of their property are assessed as having sufficient biodiversity. Rate relief is provided as a reward for the preservation and retention of significant conservation areas.
Land for Wildlife
Land for Wildlife is a voluntary program to encourage and assist private landholders to conserve habitat on their property. It recognises conservation efforts of landholders in retaining wildlife habitat. It also acknowledges that private landholders hold the key to the survival of many of our local species.
The program does NOT change the legal status of a property in any way. Landowners may withdraw at any time. The program does not interfere with the management of land and recognises that landholders use land for other purposes.
Land for Wildlife will cover farms, bush blocks and schools.
Land for Wildlife is administered by Beaudesert Shire Council as part of its Voluntary Conservation Agreements Program, which aims to support the conservation of wildlife in the Shire.
Landowners who register their property receive the Land for Wildlife sign for display in an appropriate place, a handbook of detailed wildlife notes, and regular newsletters on conservation topics.
Council will also assist landowners with advice and access to information. From time to time, wildlife events will be organised for the benefit of interested landowners.
Benefits of Land for Wildlife include contact with like-minded landowners and other people involved with wildlife and conservation. Members can learn more about the life that exists in their patch.
There is so much that can be observed and studied in the backyard. Amateurs can make a contribution to our knowledge about our local wildlife. Members can also learn about ways to improve the ecological health of their property and encourage more wildlife.
Voluntary Conservation Covenants
Until recently, landowners have had little opportunity to permanently protect areas of their land with high conservation values. Now, Council can enter into a permanent agreement (a "covenant") with the owners of land, if the land is assessed as being significant for conservation. A Voluntary Conservation Covenant will cover that portion of the property identified as having high conservation values and is legally binding to the land and to all future landowners.
Voluntary and Cooperative
Interested owners can contact Council to register their interest. The property will be assessed by Council and, if considered suitable, the covenant will be negotiated with the landowner. Council will also assist the landholder to draw up a management plan for the relevant area.
Landowners with covenants can also join Land for Wildlife.
Depending on the conservation values of the land, participants can get 100%, 75% or 50% off the General Rate applicable only to that portion of the land that will be covered by the covenant. In addition, the landholder will have certainty that land covered by a conservation covenant will be managed for conservation into the future.