March 15, 2013
Farming and Landcare groups are urged to get their applications in for the new Community Landcare Grants. National Landcare Facilitator (NLF) Brett de Hayr said groups need to apply for the new grants – worth between $5000 and $50,000 – before the cut-off date on March 20. “The interest in the new small grants program called Community Landcare Grants has been high with over 3000 applications being downloaded from the website so far,” Mr de Hayr said. “The high level of interest is probably due to changes made in response to strong community feedback, such as increasing the upper threshold for the grants and allowing funding to be used for activities that build capacity in the community in relation to Landcare and sustainable agriculture. “It’s important that Landcare and farming groups understand the flexibility provided under the new Community Landcare Grants and that now a wider range of projects could be considered.” The guidelines for these grants are different to the old program, Mr de Hayr said, so groups are being urged to relook at what might be possible. Funding can be used for a range of activities such as on-ground works, funding facilitators, capacity building activities and field days relating to natural resource management with a sustainable agriculture focus. “For example groups could not previously apply for funding as part of their project for a facilitator/co-ordinator or apply for funding to conduct a necessary training activity needed to build skills/capacity in their group (but) activities such as these will now be considered. “The focus is more on the outcome and greater flexibility in how this is achieved. This was a strong message from the community during the recent review of the Caring for our Country Program”, he said. Projects can now be undertaken over 18 months instead of 12 months and a group can now also submit more than one project. “The funding is for groups only and includes groups such as Landcare and farming groups as well as Indigenous, women and youth groups with projects relating to sustainable agriculture. Importantly those groups who are not incorporated can participate by being hosted through an incorporated organisation,” Mr de Hayr said.