6 July: Scenic Rim Regional Council will continue to work in partnership with the community to conserve and enhance the region’s natural values, providing $103,000 for the Environmental Grants Program
Scenic Rim Regional Council will continue to work in partnership with the community to conserve and enhance the region’s natural values, providing $103,000 for the Environmental Grants Program in its 2020-21 Budget.
Mayor Greg Christensen said funding for the Environmental Grants Program represented an investment by Council in conserving and enhancing some of the region’s most valuable natural assets, its spectacular scenery and healthy environment, in line with the shared Community Plan vision for the Scenic Rim.
“Landowners, schools and community groups play an invaluable role in helping to enhance the habitat of endangered native species, restoring waterway areas, installing nesting boxes for wildlife, undertaking weed control projects and revegetating degraded areas,” he said.
“Although our region is home to many large national parks, much of the remaining native habitat in the Scenic Rim is found on private property, so the conservation of native plants and wildlife and the maintenance of healthy ecosystems is very much a community effort.
“Our region’s key industries of tourism and agriculture depend on the maintenance of the ecological balance, which our Environmental Grants Program, in conjunction with our Biodiversity Strategy, helps to support.”
Applications will open this month for Council’s 2020-21 Environmental Grants Program which offers landowners, schools and community groups funding for projects that work to improve wildlife habitat, conserve native wildlife, and provide community education and awareness programs.
More than 300 Land for Wildlife agreements are in place across the Scenic Rim, with landowners maintaining habitats for native animals on more than 12,000 hectares of private property.
In 2019-20, Council provided a total of $43,205 in rates rebates to landowners of 27 properties which met the criteria for Voluntary Conservation Agreements and Covenants.
“Landowners can make a significant contribution to conserving and enhancing our natural environment simply by maintaining natural habitats on private property,” Cr Christensen said.
In addition to the Environmental Grants Program, Council’s 2020-21 Budget provides $50,500 for the Million Trees Program, which aims to plant one million native trees throughout the Scenic Rim by 2025.
Cr Christensen urged ratepayers to make use of their free tree vouchers, to be distributed with rates notices this month, to help make a difference, beginning with their own backyards.
Council provides a large number of local native species as well as a small number of hardy exotic plants which are compatible with the Scenic Rim’s natural environment.
“Our free trees initiative plays an important part in the greening of our region and enhancing its biodiversity,” Cr Christensen said.
“This year we are offering Scenic Rim ratepayers with multiple properties up to 10 plants, an increase from previous years when the maximum was six plants.
“Council will also honour vouchers issued with 2019-2020 rates notices for those who may have missed an opportunity to collect their plants during the closure of the Beaudesert nursery due to COVID-19.”