Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

The Hon Greg Combet AM MP

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

Biodiversity Fund opens for Australia's farmers and other land managers

Joint Media release
9 December 2011

Applications for funding under a key part of the Gillard Government’s strategy to cut carbon pollution and secure a clean energy future will open today.

A healthy environment and storing carbon in the Australian landscape go hand in hand. The Biodiversity Fund will deliver both of these things.

The Biodiversity Fund is a key component of the Gillard Government’s Clean Energy Future Land Sector Package.

It will provide funding to build connectivity and resilience in the landscape by promoting biodiverse carbon plantings and revegetation, management of existing biodiverse carbon stores and managing pests in a connected landscape.

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Tony Burke, said that Biodiversity Fund applications were now open.

“This is the first step in delivering more than $946 million over the next six years to help Australia’s farmers and other land managers increase carbon storage and enhance biodiversity on the land,” Mr Burke said.

“Across Australia, farmers and other land managers already do a great job through Landcare work and the Biodiversity Fund will build on this work.

“Farmers and other land managers will receive funding to support their work to conserve our environment such as through tree planting and revegetation, managing pests and other works.

“I am also pleased that this will be able to support the work of Indigenous groups to conserve and protect their land.

“This Fund is just one of the ways in which the Government is providing practical support to Australia’s land managers to make the transition to a clean energy future.

“Over the next six years $1.7 billion will be invested in measures that create great opportunities and build capacity for regional and rural Australian farmers and other land managers to participate in the carbon market.”

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, said this will include replanting native vegetation and storing carbon in soils.

“This is on top of the revenue farmers and landholders will earn from selling carbon farming credits to the 500 polluters liable under the carbon price,” Mr Combet said.

Under the first round of the Biodiversity Fund, more than$30 million will be allocated to activities this financial year to help farmers and other land managers to store carbon, enhance biodiversity and increase resilience across the Australian landscape.

The Biodiversity Fund will facilitate investment in three main areas:

  • Biodiverse plantings: Funding will help farmers and other land managers expand native habitat on their property through planting mixed vegetation species appropriate to their region.  This will help build landscape resilience and connectivity.
  • Protecting and enhancing existing native vegetation: Funding will support farmers and other land managers to protect, manage and enhance high conservation value native vegetation on their land for its carbon storage and biodiversity benefits.
  • Managing threats to biodiversity: Funding will support farmers and other land managers to control the threat of invasive pests and weeds.

The Biodiversity Fund will complement other Gillard Government initiatives including the Carbon Farming Initiative and Caring for our Country to achieve a healthier, more productive and more sustainable Australia.

The Biodiversity Fund, like the other key land sector measures, is intended to be an ongoing part of our clean energy future plan.

The application round is now open and will close 5pm AEDT Tuesday 31 January 2012

For more information about the Biodiversity Fund or to access the program guidelines, visit www.environment.gov.au/cleanenergyfuture or call the information line on 1800 008 678.