JMR with Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud

  • Farmers across North Central Victoria could be eligible for payments for management activities that improve existing native vegetation
  • The Enhancing Remnant Vegetation Pilot is part of the Australian Government’s Agriculture Stewardship Package
  • Six regions across Australia to take part
  • Farmers can apply from late September

The Morrison Government’s Enhancing Remnant Vegetation Pilot will invite farmers to be paid for biodiversity benefits from the management of existing native vegetation.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said farmers have been managing biodiversity on their farms for decades and it was time they were paid for it.

“We will start trialling a new market-based approach that will also see them paid for actions to protect and enhance their remnant native vegetation,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Over time I want to roll these pilots out to more farmers, making them widely available and fuelled by private sector investment.

“I encourage farmers across regional Victoria to check their eligibility to take part in this ground-breaking trial by visiting www.agriculture.gov.au/agriculturestewardship.”

Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said the Enhancing Remnant Vegetation Pilot was part of the Morrison Government’s Agriculture Stewardship Package.

“Our farmers produce some of the best food and fibre in the world and we want to reward them for delivering positive outcomes for their communities while also improving the financial sustainability of their own farm business,” Senator Henderson said.

“The Morrison Government has invested $22.3 million in the 2021 budget to run these additional trials alongside the Carbon plus Biodiversity Pilot, which aim to provide the best biodiversity benefit per dollar.

“This work will unlock land and support productive farming enterprise,” Senator Henderson said.

As part of the pilot, the Australian National University (ANU) has created the processes and protocols that measure and reward farmers for undertaking the projects, delivering a system that will be respected by international markets.

ANU Professor Andrew Macintosh said that management protocols could include activities such as fencing, replanting and weed and pest control.

In some projects, farmers may choose to undertake small areas of planting to provide wildlife corridors and connectivity across the landscape.

For more details or to apply for the program visit www.agriculture.gov.au/agriculturestewardship

Fast Facts:

  • The Agriculture Stewardship Package now totals $66.1 million, with $32.1 million provided in 2021, and $34 million provided in 2019.
  • Six Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions across Australia are supporting the trials: North Central (VIC), Burnett-Mary (QLD), Central West (NSW), North Tasmania (TAS), Eyre Peninsula (SA) and South-west (WA).
  • Regions have been selected, amongst other criteria, to test the program across a range of jurisdictions, farming systems, and vegetation types, and to complement and compare the trial with the Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot.
  • The trials are designed to test the underpinning systems and frameworks of the approach to ensure credibility and test the market willingness to buy.
  • Farmers in these regions will be able to apply in late September.

1 September 2021