Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Applications open for sustainable environment funding

Media release
11 February 2013

Community groups across Australia will be supported by the Gillard Government to continue their work protecting our precious environment.

Environment Minister Tony Burke today opened applications for funding under the second round of the Biodiversity Fund and the first round of Target Area Grants, under the Caring for our Country program.

"Through Caring for our Country and the Biodiversity Fund, the Gillard Government is investing in a healthy and more resilient environment by supporting volunteers, farmers and community groups to make a real difference to their local area," Minister Burke said.

"Today I am encouraging land managers and community groups to apply for funding under the second round of the Biodiversity Fund or the Target Area Grants under the Caring for our Country program.

"The second round of the Biodiversity Fund, a key element of the government’s Land Sector Package, will provide funding over four years to help land managers store carbon, enhance biodiversity and build greater resilience across the Australian landscape.

"The Target Area Grants, the first round under the Sustainable Environment stream of the new Caring for our Country program, will invest in critical areas of the environment recognised for their vulnerability and importance.

"I am pleased to announce that our urban waterways and coastal environments will be a priority under this funding round. For too long our urban rivers and waterways have been treated like drains, we will work to restore them to health and improve our coastal and marine environments."

The second round of the Biodiversity Fund will focus on projects that protect and enhance existing native vegetation, and manage invasive species across six target areas:

  • Central Australian Connection
  • Tasmania (excluding Macquarie Island)
  • south-west Western Australia
  • urban waterways and coastal environments
  • South Australia-Victoria Connection, and
  • Greater Border Ranges region.

"The second round of the Biodiversity Fund will also work to make these nationally important areas more resilient by connecting fragmented landscapes and reducing the burden of invasive species.

"We are particularly interested in larger-scale projects across different land tenures and land uses to encourage individuals, organisations and communities to work in partnership to achieve landscape-scale carbon and biodiversity outcomes."

The Biodiversity Fund is also seeking proposals from applicants to enhance the biodiversity outcomes of their Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) projects, operating within an approved CFI methodology. These proposals can be located in any part of Australia.

Caring for our Country Target Area Grants will provide funding of between $50,000 and $2 million for projects focusing on six priority areas:

  • the Central Australian Connection
  • Cape York
  • the Kimberley region
  • Tasmania
  • south-west Western Australia, and
  • urban waterways and coastal environments.

"The Caring for our Country Target Area Grants will focus investment in critical areas of our environment, which have been selected in recognition of their high levels of vulnerability and importance," Mr Burke said.

For more information on the second round of the Biodiversity Fund, visit www.environment.gov.au/cleanenergyfuture .

For more information on Caring for our Country, visit www.nrm.gov.au .

Applications are now open. Expressions of Interest close 2pm AEDT Tuesday 12 March 2013 and Full Applications close 2pm AEST Wednesday 10 April.