South West farmers to join launch of carbon and biodiversity pilot by Ailish Delaney April 21 2021, 0 Comments

From: The South West Times by Ailish Delaney 15th April 2021

A pilot to pay farmers for planting native trees in a bid to increase biodiversity launched this week, with the South West among six regions set to reap the benefits.

The $23.5 million Federal Government carbon and diversity pilot launched on Monday to increase biodiversity and remove carbon from the atmosphere by farmers planting native trees and shrubs on their land.

Delivered in partnership with the Australian National University, the pilot offers farmers in the South West of WA, Burnett-Mary in Queensland, Central West NSW, North Central Victoria, NRM North in Tasmania, and South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula the chance to diversify farm income.

It’s vital that we innovate in such a way that both our unique ecosystem and our agricultural industry can flourish.

SWCC CEO Sally Wilkinson
South West Catchments Council's new chief executive officer Sally Wilkinson is pleased to be involved in the carbon and biodiversity pilot.

Those who plant according to the South West’s specific protocol, developed by ANU and South West Catchments Council, will also receive an additional biodiversity payment that takes into account the costs of establishing the project and maintaining the plantings for at least 25 years.

The plantings can also benefit farmers by reducing erosion, improving soil moisture and providing shelter for livestock.

“We appreciate the opportunity to be involved in the development of this important initiative, to ensure that farmers in our region can be recognised and rewarded for their efforts as good land stewards,” SWCC chief executive Sally Wilkinson said.

“It’s vital that we innovate in such a way that both our unique ecosystem and our agricultural industry can flourish.”

An additional payment is available for following the South West Catchments Council’s protocol. Farmers should contact SWCC before application close on June 11.

From: The South West Times by Ailish Delaney 15th April 2021