Bush connect program
The Bush Connect grants program is now closed to applications.
Bush Connect is a one-off contestable grants program seeking to achieve long-term outcomes for the NSW environment within the Great Eastern Ranges (GER) corridor.
Funded by the NSW Environmental Trust, the program encourages partnerships between community and government organisations to protect, conserve and restore the natural environment within the GER corridor.
The objectives of the Bush Connect program are to:
- Improve the condition and connectivity of natural resources and ecosystems within the GER corridor.
- Increase the area of land (public and private) suitable for long-term protection for its environmental value through appropriate conservation mechanisms.
- Increase the number of partnerships and alignments of effort that protect the environmental values of the GER corridor.
The program is provinding up to $8 million over 6 years through individual grants of between $250,000 and $500,000.
The Environmental Trust approved sixteen applications totalling $7,578,262. A list of successful projects and project summaries is available on the 2015 Bush Connect grants page.
Projects are expected to commence in January 2016 and run until at least 2026.
All projects will run for a minimum of 10 years. For the first six years of all projects the Environmental Trust and the applicant will jointly fund up to 80 per cent of the total project cost, with the remaining 20 per cent being committed solely by the applicant over the remaining four years (via cash and/or in-kind contributions). This recognises that in most ecological restoration projects the point of completion (or minimal continued intervention) is usually around 10 years, with approximately 80 per cent of resources needed within the first six years.
Who is the program targeted at?
This program is designed to encourage collaboration between community environment groups or networks, government, non-government organisations (NGOs) and industry (including farmers).
Community environment groups, networks or NGOs will be expected to take on the role of lead organisation in the implementation of each project.
All projects will be delivered through a partnership between multiple stakeholders operating as a coordinated consortium. A consortium is an association of two or more individuals, groups, organisations, government entities or private industry organisations (or any combination of these) with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common aim or objective. Where private industry organisations form part of a project consortium, their involvement must not result in profit-making from the grant funds.
Projects will be located within the GER corridor, please refer to the Bush Connect Map webpage.
What will be funded?
A range of on-ground activities will be funded with an emphasis on creating and/or enhancing conservation connectivity. Conservation connectivity is primarily about improving habitat and natural movement or migration opportunities for native plants and animals. This will be achieved through a range of activities including bush regeneration, weed control, revegetation, pest animal management, installation of artificial habitat and land conservancy through appropriate mechanisms such as in-perpetuity covenants. Community capacity to partake in environmental restoration will also be enhanced through a range of activities including training and information sessions, workshops and direct involvement of landholders as part of the projects.
Priority will be given to applications which:
- establish or maintain (existing) effective consortium partnerships involving multiple stakeholders
- maximise co-investment and cost effectiveness
- link with existing approved conservation management plans, policies and procedures
- maximise conservation connectivity opportunities in the Great Eastern Ranges corridor
- demonstrate ongoing commitment beyond the 10 year project period
Example guidelines and application forms
For further information, please contact the Environmental Trust.
Phone: (02) 8837 6093
Page last updated: 03 December 2015