NatureAssist is a funding program for properties that meet the department's priorities for the Private Protected Area Program. Suitable properties are selected for their significant conservation values, connectivity, and their predicted resilience to climate change. The department directly contacts landholders of targeted properties to determine their interest in declaring a nature refuge over part or all of their land. They will also determine mutually agreed projects that protect the significant conservation values of the proposed nature refuge.
Participation is voluntary and conditional on a conservation agreement being executed by the landholder and the Queensland Government.
Who is eligible?
The department contacts landholders of properties with suitable conservation values identified in a priority investment area, to determine their interest in declaring a nature refuge on their land and in partnering with the state to deliver a NatureAssist-funded project on the proposed nature refuge.
Note: NatureAssist is not available to landholders where a nature refuge is a conditioned requirement of a government-funded acquisition, licence or tenure dealing.
What projects will be considered?
Projects are negotiated between the department and the landholder. Funding will be considered where a project has a clear conservation outcome and enhances the resilience and sustainable management of a proposed nature refuge. In many cases, projects are likely to deliver conservation outcomes as well as benefits to sustainable production.
The types of activities favoured include:
- reducing the impacts of stock and pest animals on environmentally sensitive areas such as vine thickets, watercourses and wetlands by managing access. This may include establishing artificial watering points away from natural springs or watercourses, erecting fencing to manage stock access, and excluding and controlling pest animals
- stabilising soils, improving water quality or increasing the value of wildlife habitat
- integrating the management of pest plants, pest animals and fire.
Unsuitable activities include those that:
- have been previously funded by NatureAssist or other programs
- have already commenced
- are part of day-to-day maintenance
- are required under legislation.