Bush Connect grants awarded and project summaries

This program supported conservation programs in the Great Eastern Ranges corridor.

This program is now closed to applications.

Please visit the ongoing grants program page for the current list of NSW Environmental Trust contestable grants, amounts being offered and opening and closing dates.

2015 and 2017

Sixteen grants were approved in the 2015 round, totalling $7,578,262.

Supplementary funding for 5 of these projects was approved in 2017, totalling $467,566

Organisation Project title Amount $

Australian River Restoration Centre

Rivers of carbon - Goulburn district river linkages


+ 99,518 Supplementary

Berry Landcare

Berry bush links


Border Ranges Alliance Great Eastern Ranges Regional Partnership

Border Ranges climate corridor consolidation - Roseberry/Loadstone


Community Environment Network Inc.

COSS connections and rehabilitation project


Far South Coast Landcare Association Inc.

Bega Valley corridors, from coast to escarpment: filling in the gaps


Goonengerry Landcare Group Inc.

Restoration and linkage of Wilsons and Coopers Creeks


+ 99,344 Supplementary

Greening Australia - Capital Region

Monaro tree comeback


Greening Australia NSW

Wall 2 Wollondilly - the Wingecarribee River connection


Holbrook Landcare Network

Slopes to summit (S2S) bush connect


+ 90,404 Supplementary

Jaliigirr Biodiversity Alliance Inc.

Jaliigirr landscape connections in the Great Eastern Ranges


+ 99,300 Supplementary

Jiggi Catchment Landcare Group Inc.

Landcare expanding high conservation value GER habitats and corridors


+ 79,000 Supplementary

Kanangra-Boyd to Wyangala Link Partnership

Restoring the glideways of the Kanangra-Boyd to Wyangala link


Macleay Landcare Network Inc

Yarrahapinni to Killiekrankie Biodiversity Alliance (Y2K)


National Parks Association

Thickening the thin green line of the Illawarra Escarpment


Yass Area Network of Landcare Groups Incorporated

Yass habitat linkages



16 Projects Totalling



5 Supplementary Projects Totalling


Project summaries

Australian River Restoration Centre

Rivers of Carbon: Goulburn district river linkages - $592,468 (including supplementary funding of $99,518)

This project builds on the work of the successful large-scale Rivers of Carbon project that focuses on connecting and linking riparian rehabilitation projects (undertaken over the past 20 years by various groups) with remnant vegetation and other works. The project is being developed in response to strong community demand to undertake riparian rehabilitation to improve vegetation, reduce sedimentation and improve stock management (a win-win situation proven to be very effective). Outcomes will include connectivity of remnant vegetation (riparian and terrestrial), increased biodiversity and improved water quality. The project will be carried out in partnership with Greening Australia, landholders, South East Local Land Services, Landcare, and the broader community, who will be engaged in on-ground works and educational activities.

Supplementary works

Rivers of Carbon Goulburn is gaining traction in our focus area, and we will expand on the work that is currently being carried out to include 4 more landholders and an additional awareness raising event. A community-identified area of need is to fund some complementary willow control activities to protect the integrity of projects into the future, and to assist landholders wanting to restore riparian areas. The intention is not to undertake large willow control projects, but to complement fencing and revegetation projects where there are a few willows, which may spread with the reduction in stock grazing pressure that often occurs when we fence out riparian areas. Soil erosion has been identified at some sites as an issue that needs to be addressed. As with willow control, funding would be provided to complement project works and address small-scale erosion (e.g. head cuts, bed lowering etc). We will link the additional activities to a workshop or field day to showcase the techniques being used and to demonstrate how we are investing in these approaches.

Berry Landcare

Berry bush links - $500,000

‘Berry bush links’ is a consortium comprising a Landcare group, over 50 private landholders, and community and government organisations. These partners will work together to connect existing ‘stepping stone’ patches of native vegetation across tenures in the Berry corridor of the Illawarra to Shoalhaven Great Eastern Ranges landscape via revegetation. By controlling weeds and pest animals, this project will restore existing native habitat within the Berry corridor to support a range of native wildlife including threatened species and endangered ecological communities. Field days and community workshops focusing on seed collection, weed and native plant identification will be used to engage and motivate landholders.

Border Ranges Alliance Great Eastern Ranges Regional Partnership

Border Ranges climate corridor consolidation Roseberry/Loadstone - $500,000

This project represents the NSW half of a cross-border project seeking to manage corridor connectivity for a range of threatened species. By working with OEH-modelled corridors to recover landscape connectivity and function on private land between Border Ranges and Toonumbar National Parks, the project consolidates and buffers a central pinch point in the Tweed–Border Ranges–Mount Clunie moist climate-change corridor, which traverses the NSW–QLD border. It also improves physical connections with the Iluka–Richmond Range moist climate-change corridor to the south, ensuring the long-term functioning of significant east-west and north-south continental pathways important for migratory species, altitudinal migrants, locally nomadic and endemic species. The project repairs linkages across degraded valley floor landscapes at Loadstone and Roseberry Creek re-establishing access to moist gullies and riparian areas for dependent species, while enhancing grassy habitat for ground-dwelling birds and restoring forested areas to facilitate movement of arboreal mammals between protected areas. The project works alongside other partner investment in threatened species recovery works in the area, integrating activities and consolidating connectivity conservation outcomes.

Community Environment Network Inc.

Coastal Open Space Scheme connections and rehabilitation project - $453,414

Established in 1984, the Coastal Open Space Scheme (COSS) is unique to the Gosford local-government area. Areas identified as having significant ecological, cultural and historical value were earmarked for future protection and conservation. Existing COSS lands have been voluntarily acquired, with approximately 70% of those lands identified now in public ownership and the remaining 30% privately owned with the long-term goal of voluntary acquisition. Gosford Council has approximately $3.5 million allocated for this purpose. This project will aim to maintain and improve the integrity of lands identified for COSS and the wildlife corridors that complement COSS lands. The project will use the Land for Wildlife (LFW) program to engage landholders and move them to higher-level conservation agreements if they wish. We are also aiming to incorporate Landcare or Bushcare sites that lie within or abut the Great Eastern Ranges/COSS corridor. The project will provide bush regeneration to landholders and on public land. We will also engage landholders and recruit new LFW members through workshops, field days and education/promotion. We will partner with Greater Sydney Landcare Network to support new and existing Landcare groups and with the Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council as a key landholder.

Far South Coast Landcare Association Inc.

Bega Valley corridors, from coast to escarpment: filling in the gaps - $500,000

The vision for this project is to connect coastal forests with the escarpment, whilst linking urban corridors with rural revegetation achievements. A coalition of the Bega Valley district’s Landcare groups, dairy and grazing industry groups, 8 local town and village communities, local and state government agencies has formed to harness and align their collective efforts to deliver this work. A total of 88 hectares of revegetation and approximately 186 hectares of regeneration will recover, protect and reconnect riparian corridors, remnant grassy woodlands and wetlands to fill 30 kilometres of strategic corridor connectivity gaps in the landscape, building links between reserved forests. Momentum from large-scale biodiversity projects, successful dairy industry engagement, coastal, and urban bush regeneration will be leveraged to meet the growing interest from landholders and community.

Goonengerry Landcare Group Inc.

Restoration and linkage of Wilsons and Coopers Creeks - $598,548 (including supplementary funding of $99,344)

Located in the Byron Shire hinterland in northeast NSW, this project will enhance connectivity and functioning of native forests surrounding 4 publicly owned protected areas (3 national parks and one reserve). Exotic species will be controlled and 110 hectares of native forest regenerated by encouraging seed-bank germination. Forests of structural integrity, mostly threatened ecological communities that support 47 threatened species of plants and animals, will be self-maintaining in the long-term. Community and stakeholder connections will promote information sharing while long-term protection of land will be achieved through conservation mechanisms, facilitated by a group member trained in Land for Wildlife implementation.

Supplementary works

The project will be expanded by including 3 new properties and extending the work on 4 properties in the existing project. The 3 new properties will strengthen linkages within the project area and increase the geographical scale. On-ground activities on both the new properties and the expansion work on existing properties will follow the same proven methodology for camphor and lantana conversion. There will be additional community and landholder engagement and strengthening of links between the consortium partners through further field days. Permanent interpretive signs will be installed along the walking track at Byrangery Reserve to present information including the bush-regeneration techniques used in the Bush Connect project and some of the threatened species found on the site.

Greening Australia Capital Region

Monaro tree comeback - $499,460

Set in the Great Eastern Ranges corridor, this is a pioneering connectivity project for the Monaro region that will apply long-term rigorous science, community engagement and cultural linkages in response to the dramatic loss of eucalypts over the last 10 years. Currently there is no regional recovery strategy for the estimated 2000 square kilometres affected (an area larger than the Australian Capital Territory). On-ground collaborative action targeting 24 sites will turn rocky outcrops with standing dead trees into vibrant living ‘stepping stones’: this will be achieved through a mix of CSIRO tree-provenance trials at strategic locations, trial cultural burning on travelling stock reserves, and corridor-planting incentives for innovative property owners. Results will pave the way for resilient species to cope with a changing environment. The establishment of a Monaro dieback network will guide social and financial investment.

Greening Australia NSW

Wall 2 Wollondilly: the Wingecarribee River connection - $486,739

Identified as a priority corridor by Great Eastern Ranges Southern Highlands Working Group, the Wingecarribee River is the major link in the Southern Highlands between the coastal escarpment and Central Tablelands. The banks of the river have been grazed and cleared since 1817, and weeds have followed. Weed control, revegetation and protection of remnants is required to sustain the 5 endangered ecological communities and 11 NSW listed species that remain along its reaches. ‘Wall to Wollondilly’ will enhance east-west connectivity by coordinating community, government and non-government organisation effort to deliver revegetation, weed management, education and landholder capacity building, from the Wingecarribee Reservoir wall to the Wollondilly River.

Holbrook Landcare Network

Slopes to summit (S2S) bush connect - $590,279 (includes supplementary funding of $90,404)

This project will target 3 high-priority fragmented landscapes in the Holbrook region. Key actions will include the strengthening of existing roadways, creek lines and glide-ways (for threatened squirrel glider); revegetation and fencing works to build new corridors; community awareness activities; and a pilot program engaging the community in managing isolated travelling stock reserves for biodiversity values. Slopes to Summit is an established connectivity conservation group based in the NSW south-western slopes, with a focus on strengthening landscape connectivity for endangered Box Woodland species. It is managed by the Holbrook Landcare Network, and guided by scientific input from research partners.

Supplementary works

This supplementary funding will be used to:

  • start the community engagement and data collection on squirrel gliders in the Jindera landscape, flagged as an additional priority area for Slopes to Summit. The program run by Albury Conservation Company and Woolshed Thurgoona Landcare in the Thurgoona landscape has been very successful in engaging the peri-urban community and we want to start the process of replicating this in Jindera landscape by using nest boxes as a focus of community events, get the community involved in thinking about the impact of urbanisation on threatened species, and used to generate some data on squirrel gliders in this landscape
  • improve connectivity by expanding the on-ground activity to include all the area covered by the Circuitscape analysis. (Previously, just the Woomargama and Nest Hill landscapes were covered, but Circuitscape analysis has also identified the Holbrook landscape between them as an important focus area.) This will be done by revegetating a further 35 hectares.

Jaliigirr Biodiversity Alliance Inc.

Jaliigirr landscape connections in the Great Eastern Ranges - $596,500 (includes supplementary funding of $99,300)

This Jaliigirr project will restore and protect 10 biodiversity conservation sites within identified priority areas of the Coffs–Bellinger–Dorrigo region that will extend and improve the connectivity of our natural landscapes and add to the achievements of the Great Eastern Ranges program. The Jaliigirr Biodiversity Alliance is a partnership of 20 organisations that work together across all land tenures and communities to improve landscape connectivity. The focus of on-ground works will be on bush regeneration to restore essential and viable habitats for forest-dependent animals: there will be some areas of revegetation, complemented by capacity-building activities. Works include Coffs Harbour Local Aboriginal Land Council repair to Country priority sites and the Dorodong Corporation Indigenous Protected Area. All sites are connected to the World Heritage Area of the region through a mosaic of land tenures: private landholder communities; Junuy Juluum, Bindarri and Dorrigo national parks; and Tuckers Knob, Pine Creek and Orara East State Forests.

Supplementary works

Our project will expand through the addition of 2 new sites, across 4 new private properties, that expand the corridor connections of remnant vegetation (North coast wet sclerophyll shrubby forests and subtropical rainforest) by another 100 ha. The project management approach, partnership arrangements and on-ground activities will remain the same as for our original project and these new sites will be integrated into our current Bush Connect works program. Each of the sites is in an area where adjoining landholders with high-conservation-value remnant intend to create longer-term conservation zones on their properties. One site is proposed by Bellingen Landcare members who own property adjacent to the southern boundary of Dorrigo National Park, which lies within the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. This site has significant stands of older-aged high-conservation-value vegetation connected by regrowth, some it more than 30 years old. The second site is proposed by Land for Wildlife members and provides a valuable intact east-west corridor link and buffer between Bellingen township and state forest areas.

Jiggi Catchment Landcare Group Inc.

Landcare expanding high-conservation-value Great Eastern Ranges habitats and corridors - $550,912 (includes supplementary funding of $79,000)

The project will expand partnerships and geographical spread of the current funded 6-year project. Professional bush regenerators, working alongside Landcare members, will commit to the protection and enhancement of high-conservation-value vegetation that links key habitat for threatened species. The 16 sites are located within local and regional priority corridors. The project will provide assistance to 4 committed and established Landcare groups and their members as well as public land managers, to rehabilitate remnant vegetation. Restoration work will serve to strengthen species migration pathways and will create animal refuges while re-establishing linear corridors in predator-free areas. Environmental weeds such as lantana are degrading native plant communities, limiting natural regeneration. The capacity of Landcare members and community, to manage sites will be enhanced through training in restoration techniques and working alongside professional bush regenerators. Local school children and community members will learn about the biodiversity value of their local bush and how they can protect it. Site-specific plans will be developed or updated as required. The plans will align with the existing Plans of Management and will cover remnant vegetation values and the strategic linkage between existing natural areas.

Supplementary works

A combination of new properties and expansion of works on existing properties will be used to expand this project. The new properties are connected to existing Bush Connect and community bush regeneration sites by mapped Lismore City Council habitat corridors. Four of the 17 existing Bush Connect work sites will be expanded where ongoing maintenance can be guaranteed, additional work sites range from 4.5 to 2 hectares in size, increasing the total area by 25 hectares. Two new site plans will be written and 5 updated. New activities will include expansion of regeneration and revegetation works as well as nest-box installation on new and existing partner properties, including Nimbin Central School. Each nest box will target a hollow dependent species where natural hollows are absent. Motion detection cameras will be used to monitor hollow activity in later years. In the absence of extension officers, 2 of the more experienced and skilled project partners will be offering their pro-bono expertise to undertake site visits and advise landholders who have indicated a need for help to restore natural areas.

Kanangra–Boyd to Wyangala Link Partnership

Restoring the glideways of the Kanangra-Boyd to Wyangala link - $499,396

The glideways project will work with communities in the Kanangra-Boyd to Wyangala Link to restore connectivity for gliding possums. It will:

  • increase awareness of the status of gliders and other species across 3 districts
  • co-ordinate landholder commitments to protect and link habitats across the landscape
  • enhance remnant habitats with nest boxes and plantings with preferred feed species
  • restore functional linkages through grazing management, natural regeneration, targeted plantings and feral predator control
  • strengthen local capacity to manage persistent pressures through fire planning and surveillance of invasive species
  • monitor changes in glider distribution and abundance.

Macleay Landcare Network Inc.

Yarrahapinni to Killiekrankie Biodiversity Alliance (Y2K) - $492,120

This project aims to increase the extent and condition of native vegetation within priority locations at Hickeys Creek and Taylors Arm. There is a distinct ‘bottleneck’ for connectivity in the Macleay Range at these fertile farming valleys, and this project will provide stronger linkages between Ngambaa Nature Reserve, Ingalba State Forest and Collombatti State Forest in the east and New England National Park, Thumb Creek State Forest and Mistake State Forest in the west. In conjunction with improving the extent and condition of native vegetation, the intent is to also improve farm-management activities by fencing areas of native vegetation, providing off-stream watering points and preparing property management plans. We will also explore whether conservation agreements can provide ongoing protection of the native vegetation on these properties. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Forestry Corporation, Nambucca Shire Council and Kempsey Shire Council will focus conservation land-management activities in areas near the private lands receiving attention. This will improve the condition of the native vegetation leading into the proposed corridors and ensure resilience in these key feeder areas.

National Parks Association

Thickening the thin green line of the Illawarra Escarpment - $500,000

The Illawarra to Shoalhaven Great Eastern Ranges (GER) region has hugely important biodiversity values, but these values are threatened by fragmentation. This project will target a bottleneck in the Illawarra escarpment that currently has the lowest level of connectivity in the Illawarra to Shoalhaven region – the ‘east Robertson pinch point’ between Macquarie Pass and Budderoo National Parks. At present this section is a major barrier to connectivity. This project will increase ecological connectivity through strategic revegetation and conservation agreements, and will increase habitat quality for native species through weed control and pest management across tenure. This project is supported by a consortium of existing Illawarra to Shoalhaven Great Eastern Ranges partners, new partners, community groups and landholders.

Yass Area Network of Landcare Groups Incorporated

Yass habitat linkages - $427,850

The project aim is to enhance biodiversity and improve sustainable farming by connecting remnants of native vegetation in the Yass area, between Murrumbateman, Jerewa, Binalong and Bookham. The project area abuts existing initiatives, which include the Greater Goorooyarroo and Murrumbateman Landcare Linking Biodiversity projects, and Rivers of Carbon Yass: the new project will optimise the outcomes of these existing projects, and vice versa. Project aims will be achieved by revegetating corridors across private agricultural landscapes to link otherwise isolated patches of remnant vegetation. This project is being developed in response to community interest: numerous landholders have already expressed interest in undertaking projects of this nature. Outcomes will include improved biodiversity and habitat, sustainable farming and improved knowledge and behavioural change.