CONSERVATION GRANTS: Farmers can funds to protect and increase koala habitat. Photo Contributed
CONSERVATION GRANTS: Farmers can funds to protect and increase koala habitat. Photo Contributed Contributed

$35 million to help landholders protect environment

LANDHOLDERS in NSW will earn money on land they dedicate to help protect native and threatened species in new land conservation agreements.

The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) is entering 38 new conservation agreements with landholders in NSW to protect more than 9,300 hectares of environmentally significant land, including koala habitat.

Environment Minister Matt Kean said the BCT is setting aside $35.9 million to support landholders in Lismore, Ballina, the Northern Tablelands, North West Plains, Murray, South West Slopes, and Lachlan River.

"These 38 new BCT agreements will help landowners protect new conservation areas, threatened species, and pristine landscapes," Mr Kean said.

"These landholders will earn from $21 to $423 per hectare per year over the life of the agreements to manage parts of their property to help protect native and threatened species."

Through the BCT, the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has committed more than $350 million over the next five years to help protect and conserve the environment, plants and animals.

In just over a year since being established, the BCT has now conserved more than 29,000 hectares of land through 133 private land conservation agreements.

Some of the landscapes being conserved include Grey Box Woodland, Sandhill Pine Woodland, Coolibah-Black Box Woodland, and Brigalow and Myall Woodland.

In the Lismore-Ballina area, regionally important koala habitat is being protected.

"The response from landholders to these conservation tenders is overwhelmingly positive," Mr Kean said.

"We have some of the most beautiful landscapes and pristine natural areas in the country. I want to make sure we are protecting our environment in NSW because I want to leave it in a better state than the one we inherited."

Conservation tenders are just one way the BCT encourages landholders to protect parts of their land for biodiversity conservation.

For more information about the BCT, visit https://www.bct.nsw.gov.au/.