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Thursday, 2 August 2018

The Member for Monaro John Barilaro today announced that the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) has called for expressions of interest from landholders to participate in the BCT’s Conservation Management Program.

“Landholders with eligible grasslands in the Snowy Monaro council area will be able to express interest in the program,” Mr Barilaro said.

Expressions of interest open on 20 August 2018 and close on 7 September 2018.

Minister for the Environment, the Hon Gabrielle Upton MP, said: “This is part of the NSW Government’s unprecedented investment of $240 million over five years, and $70 million per year ongoing, in a new private land conservation program.”

“This is a ground-breaking approach to conserving biodiversity, where landholders can set their own bid price and voluntarily compete in a tender to win a funded conservation agreement on a value for money basis.”

Landholders will be supported by the Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) to submit costed management plans. If the site is assessed as suitable, the BCT and the landholder will negotiate a conservation agreement.

Under an agreement, the landholder will be funded to carry out agreed conservation management actions. Agreements can be in-perpetuity or for a fixed term (minimum 15 years).

BCT Chair, the Hon Dr Robert Hill AC, said: “The conservation agreements we’ve already signed in regional NSW showcase great support for protecting rare landscapes and endangered wildlife. People want to leave a good legacy of conservation for future generations.”

“The importance of private landholders being supported to conserve and manage biodiversity on their land is being recognised in NSW and internationally,” Dr Hill said.

“Under our business plan we are rolling out $61.4 million across our programs in 2018–19,” Dr Hill said.

The Minister announced on 15 July that the NSW Government had committed $61.4 million across the BCT’s programs for 2018-19 to deliver major benefits to the environment and support landholders to carry out important conservation management on their properties. Of this funding, $46.6 million will be used for the BCT’s Conservation Tenders in 2018-19, including the Monaro region.