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Landholders encouraged to apply for grants to create more sustainable properties

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The owners of an 80-hectare beef cattle grazing property are delivering on a long-term plan to create a more sustainable setting for both agriculture and wildlife.

In the picturesque town of Peachester, the landholders are working to protect a creek running through the property and the threatened species that call it home.

Previously cattle would drink from the creek and shelter under the trees running along it, causing bank erosion and tainting of the water.

The owners’ goal was to improve the water quality downstream and protect threatened plants such as Helicia ferruginea (rusty helicia), Syzygium hodgkinsoniae (red lilly pilly) and Pararistlochia pravenosa (Richmond birdwing bine), and wildlife such as the giant barred-frog and Richmond birdwing butterfly that live along the creek banks.

To do this, they’ve fenced the waterway, installed hardened cattle crossings and created off-stream watering points. They’ve also been tackling weeds in the fenced areas.

Thanks to the project, the water quality is improving and the threatened species living along the banks are better protected.

The improvements have come with a lot of elbow grease and some help from Sunshine Coast Council’s Landholder Environment Grants.

The owners have installed hardened cattle crossings to protect the creek.

Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said the grants were funded by the Environment Levy and delivered in line with Environment and Liveability Strategy objectives.

“Year on year, the Landholder Environment Grants continue to support rural property owners to restore their properties, and council is very proud to be a partner in their success,” Cr Suarez said.

“One success story is an 80-hectare beef cattle grazing property in Peachester that has received grant funding for the last two years.

“The landholders have contributed their own labour as well as funds towards the total project cost and I congratulate them for the quest to improve their local environment.”

The grants will open once again from July 10 for expressions of interest for the 2023 funding round.

Grants of up to $15,000 are available for projects including bush regeneration, reducing sediment loss on farms, excluding stock from waterways, controlling environmental weeds, modifying non-boundary fencing to make it wildlife friendly, revegetating degraded areas, and to establish vegetation corridors and buffer zones.

The waterway has been fenced off.

Cr Suarez encouraged rural landholders to check the guidelines on council’s website to see if their project was eligible.

“The grants are a competitive process and priority will be given to projects with high ecological value and those which have good landowner co-contribution,” she said.

“Last year 60 recipients shared in $325,000 under the Landholder Environment Grants program.

Only private rural landholders can apply, and the project must occur on privately owned rural land within the Sunshine Coast Local Government area.

For application deadlines and guidelines click here.

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