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Revegetation incentives for Mallee farmers

Mallee farmers west of Ouyen are being offered financial and practical help for work to improve wildlife links between three of southern Australia’s most important refuges for native species.

Revegetation incentives for Mallee farmers

Stock exclusion fencing to protect native vegetation

The Connecting Mallee Parks program last year targeted more than 50 hectares of private property to re-establish connections between the Murray Sunset and Wyperfeld National Parks and the Big Desert State Forest and Wilderness Park.

Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Chair Sharyon Peart said applications were now open for the 2015-16 Connecting Mallee Parks program, which offers biodiversity incentives and revegetation support.

“Farmers have really come on board over the past two years because, in many cases, this program gives them the resources to complete work they had been keen to do themselves,” Ms Peart said.

“A lot of farmers enjoy the benefits to the landscape and to the local native wildlife that come with revegetation and fencing to protect remnant vegetation.

“To be able to access financial and practical support under the program just provides an added incentive.”

The Connecting Mallee Parks Program is supported by the Mallee CMA, through funding from the Australian Government.

Ms Peart said the 2015-16 programs would again focus on the Connecting Mallee Parks target area. This identified area is of high priority for the restoration and protection of vegetation and encompasses farmland districts around Murrayville, Cowangie, Boinka, Underbool, Walpeup and north of Patchewollock.

“Most of the land in between the parks has been cleared for agriculture, but there are significant patches of remnant vegetation on roadsides, on private land and in public reserves,” Ms Peart said.

“Under the Revegetation Program we form a partnership with the farmers, where the CMA provides plants and seed and do the plantings, while the landholders’ input is site preparation, such as weed control and ripping.

“A subsidy is also available for the installation of fencing to protect the revegetated area.

“The Biodiversity Incentive Program offers assistance for farmers in the target areas to undertake on-ground works such as environmental Weeds of National Significance (WONS) control and stock exclusion fencing to protect vegetation.”

The programs will make further progress on plans to link existing patches of vegetation to form ‘stepping stones’ for animals between the major parks.

“The parks are some of southern Australia’s most important refuge areas for native species,” Ms Peart said.

“The strategic plantings are providing viable connections between those major refuge areas so animals can move easily and safely between them.”

Applications for the 2015-16 Mallee Biodiversity Incentive Program and the 2015-16 Revegetation Program close on September 11, 2015 and all on-ground works must be completed by April 30, 2016. Applications must be made by lodging an expression of interest form.

Further information is available by contacting Mallee CMA Project Officer Derrick Boord on 0428 316 146.

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