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Grants and funding

Aboriginal lands clean-up program

The NSW Government is committed to reducing the incidents of illegal dumping across NSW whilst working together with Aboriginal communities to improve the health, education and social outcomes for Aboriginal people. To date, $1.7 million has been awarded under the Clean-up and deterrence of illegal dumping on Aboriginal owned lands grants (commonly referred to as the Aboriginal lands clean-up program (ALCUP)). These grants have been made to Local Aboriginal Land Councils across NSW working in partnership with their respective local council.

Aim of the program

The aim of the program is to facilitate partnerships between Local Aboriginal Land Councils and local government councils. Through this partnership, both parties collaborate to develop a project that progresses ongoing relationships and addresses the social and environmental issues of illegal dumping occurring on Aboriginal owned land.


The objectives of the Aboriginal lands clean-up program are:

  • clean-up of illegally dumped materials on Aboriginal owned lands
  • implement measures to deter future illegal dumping across the project area
  • maximise recycling and resource recovery from the illegally dumped materials
  • foster relationships between Aboriginal communities, local and state government and community groups.


The Aboriginal lands clean-up program has a two stage application process. The first stage is an expression of interest to be completed by interested Local Aboriginal Land Councils and partnering with the local council. Expression of interest applications are assessed by an independent technical committee and shortlisted project partners are then invited to submit a full application. The approved projects are then funded by 30 June, to be implemented in the next financial year.

Funding for 2013

Total funds being offerred under the Aboriginal lands clean-up program in 2013 is $200,000 with applications for individual projects being up to $50,000. The project implementation phase commences 1 July 2013 until 30 June 2014.


Any Local Aboriginal Land Council in NSW that partners with its local council can apply for funding under the Program to clean up and deter illegal dumping on Aboriginal owned land. For the purpose of the partnership project, the Aboriginal Lands Council is the grantee and the local council is the project administrator. 

Guidelines and application forms

StagesOpening dateClosing dateDownload forms

Stage 1:
Expression of Interest



Funding outline 2012

120859FundOutL.doc (64kb, word document)


Grant guidelines 2012

120857GrntGLne.doc (115kb, word document)

Stage 2: 
Full application



Application form

130106ALCUPApp.doc (362kb, word document)


Financial spreadsheet

120238Financial.xls (24kb, excel document)


A series of workshops are offerred to the project partners invited to submit a detailed application in Stage 2. These workshops aim to assist in facilitating the development of competitive project proposals.

For further information about the program, please contact the Local government section of the Environment Protection Authority on (02) 9995 5000 or mail to: sustainability@environment.nsw.gov.au.

Supporting information

The Illegal Dumping - Prevention and Clean-Up, Handbook for Aboriginal Communities resource provides information on Aboriginal perspective about the consequences of illegal dumping; and steps to a successful prevention and clean-up and prevention project, providing examples of successful case studies.

The Crackdown on Illegal Dumping Handbook for Local Government is a resource developed for local councils to tackle the issue of illegal dumping with case studies and examples. This tool is a valuable resource for local Aboriginal Land Councils and their partnering local council.

Grants awarded in 2013

In round eight of the Aboriginal lands clean-up program, five projects received funding totalling $177,991. Funded projects are outlined below:

Aboriginal lands clean-up program
Grants awarded in 2013

Local Aboriginal Land CouncilsPartnering local councilsProject titleAmount $
Bega Local Aboriginal Land CouncilBega Valley Shire Council37 Hunters road Wapengo clean up 2013


Birpai Local Aboriginal Land CouncilPort Macquarie Hastings CouncilChristmas Bells plains clean up project


Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land CouncilPenrith City CouncilDLALC -Llandilo clean up project - Stage III


Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land CouncilWyong Shire CouncilDarkinjung LALC - Illegal dumping clean up 2013


Griffith Local Aboriginal Land CouncilGriffith City CouncilGriffith LALC lands clean up project 12/13


Total 5 projects


Previous funding rounds


Five projects received a total funding of $220,165 under round seven of the ALCUP project completed in 2012.

The ALCUP projects completed in 2011-2012 cleaned up 810 tonnes of illegally dumped material. Of the amount cleaned up, 509 tonnes was delivered for reuse or recycling. Of the 301 tonnes disposed to landfill, 276 tonnes was the safe disposal of asbestos. 

The prevention measures implemented through the program included education programs to educate local residents of the impacts of illegal dumping, involving school children in beautification of the area, blocking access ways with cement blocks and painted by school children, work experience opportunities were provided for the long term unemployed, youth were involved and engaged during the clean up process and has been linked to other State and Federal programs for improved management of their land.


Five Projects received $1,77,261 in funding under round six of the ALCUP program 2011. ALCUP projects completed in 2011 cleaned up a total of 875 tonnes of illegally dumped waste. Out of the total, 242 tonnes was reused, 413 tonnes was recycled and the remaining safely disposed in a landfill. Strong ongoing partnerships eventuated and relationships strengthened between project partners. Educational programs and competitions were conducted in schools, capacity building training programs and on ground work experience were the major outcomes of the 2011 program.


Eight projects received more than $386,000 in funding under round five of the Aboriginal lands clean-up program in 2010. Project partners worked with communities to clean up illegal dumping, resulting in the reuse of 13 tonnes, recycling of 144 tonnes, and disposal of 77 tonnes of illegally dumped materials. Projects strengthened partnerships between Local Aboriginal Land Councils, local government and local Aboriginal communities. Community groups and school students were engaged through planning and decision making, training and employment, educational workshops, community clean up days and project celebrations. Through engaging with community members, project partners were able to instil an improved sense of community pride in country and improved confidence.


Six Local Aboriginal Lands Councils and local council partners received $240,172 under round 4 of the Aboriginal lands clean-up program in 2009. Clean up projects completed in 2009/10 resulted in the reuse of 456 tonnes, recycling of 325 tonnes, and appropriate disposal of 196 tonnes of illegally dumped waste. Grant recipients have identified many additional positive outcomes including, strengthened relationships between Aboriginal communities and local governments, increased community pride, and safer communities.


Round 3 of the Aboriginal lands clean-up program built on the success of the previous two pilot funding rounds and provided a more comprehensive approach to the grants process through the improvement of the application and reporting process. Funding of $200,000 was provided to four Local Aboriginal Land Councils and local council partnerships, each totalling $50,000.


Round 2 (Pilot) of the Aboriginal lands clean-up program was used to further develop the program, recognising the inherent need for Aboriginal communities to manage their own community and land services whilst also bridging the gap between Aboriginal communities, and all levels of government. Funding of $100,000 was provided to two Local Aboriginal Land Councils and local council partnerships, each totalling $50,000.


Round 1 (Pilot): In 2003, the then Department of Environment and Conservation (now Office of Environment and Heritage) identified a number of detrimental issues that have a negative impact on the Aboriginal communities throughout the state of NSW. Inherent to all of these Aboriginal communities are the issue of illegal dumping and waste, and the impact of this on human health, the environment and Aboriginal culture. In 2006, funding of $200,000 was provided to four Local Aboriginal Land Councils and local council partnerships, each totalling $50,000. These pilot projects were an enormous success with illegally dumped waste removed from a number of project sites. These projects also saw the implementation of: deterrence measures to limit the potential for future illegal dumping episodes; the incorporation of correct recycling, resource recovery and disposal options; and the building of relationships between Aboriginal communities, the wider community and between local and state government.

Page last updated: 29 October 2013