Applications are now open for the Palaszczuk Government’s first round of investments in the flagship $500 million Land Restoration Fund.
More than 100 leaders from industry, finance and the land sector will meet in Brisbane today to hear how they can tap into the fund to drive improved environmental outcomes in Queensland.
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the first of its kind fund will support carbon farming projects that will deliver co-benefits for the health of the Reef, threatened species including koalas, regional communities, and Traditional Owners.
“The Land Restoration Fund is a nation-leading initiative,” Ms Trad said.
“Not only will the Land Restoration Fund help our state to meet its commitments on climate change – including achieving zero net emissions by 2050 – it will also support job creation, particularly in regional Queensland.”
Following successful pilot rounds, this first round of funding will make $100 million available to support new sources of income, as well as regional jobs – while contributing to healthier land and waterways.
Minister for the Environment and Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the Land Restoration Fund supports farmers, landholders and Traditional Owners to put in place sustainable land use practices.
“These practices will deliver improved yields, diversify income streams, create jobs and protect and restore Queensland’s unique natural environment,” Ms Enoch said.
John O’Connor, CEO of the Carbon Market Institute, said Queensland was leading the way in the transition to a competitive and economically prosperous net zero emissions future.
“We are pleased to support the Queensland Government in bringing together land sector leaders to learn more about the support on offer and take up opportunities in carbon and other environmental markets.”
Dr Georgina Davis, CEO of Queensland Farmer’s’ Federation welcomed the opening of the first round of funding.
“The Land Restoration Fund will provide great opportunities for landholders to capitalise on their environmental assets,” Dr Davis said.
“Farmers are exceptional land managers and this funding will help successful applicants to diversify their income while producing co-benefits for the environment and the community.”
Specialists from industry and government will visit regional Queensland centres over the next six weeks to outline the full range of support initiatives designed to help landholders with project proposals and funding applications.
Minister Enoch said support includes additional financial assistance for eligible landholders of up to $10,000 to cover the cost of professional advice and technical services needed for them to assess and prepare carbon farming project applications.
“Successful applicants may also receive advance payments to offset project start-up costs to get new projects off the ground,” she said.
Carbon farming helps to capture, hold and store carbon in trees, mangroves and soils rather than being released into the atmosphere, helping our state to meet its commitments on climate change – including achieving zero net emissions by 2050.
Work is already underway with 12 pilot projects funded through the $5 million Land Restoration Fund pilot program to trial different carbon farming techniques, including projects looking at ways that traditional savanna burning practices can lead to increased carbon credits.
Applications for the first intake of the Land Restoration Fund 2020 Investment Round close on 28 February 2020. A second intake will close 15 April 2020.
Information about upcoming information workshops and other support is on the Land Restoration Fund website. Workshops for those who wish to engage on koala habitat areas will be added soon.