Environmental Restoration and Rehabilitation: more information for applicants

Government agencies and non-government bodies can help you develop your grant application.

Technical help and in-kind support

Many organisations can help you develop your application.

Local councils can:

  • give you relevant plans, reports and strategies
  • tell you about local environmental projects.

Local Land Services can:

  • help you obtain funds
  • connect you with regional programs.

The Australian Association of Bush Regenerators  can:

  • help with bush regeneration projects.

The Environmental Trust can advise on how to plan and monitor restoration projects.

Guidelines for bush-restoration projects

We receive many applications for grants to restore degraded bushland. Here’s some general advice that can help make your project successful.

  • Make sure your group (including contractors) is big enough to carry out your project.
  • Plan to do the primary work (e.g. removing weeds) only on areas where you can do adequate follow-up as part of the same project.
  • Allowing natural regeneration is the best approach and you should allow enough time for this to happen. If there aren’t enough seeds in the soil for regeneration to occur naturally, revegetation through planting is the next-best option. If you intend to do this you’ll need to justify it in your grant proposal.
  • You’ll need to comply with the relevant sections of any local or regional plans of management, environmental studies or assessments.
  • Right at the beginning, set up ways to monitor the progress and success of your project. You’ll need to capture baseline information (that is, information about the situation before your project starts). See our Guide to monitoring ecological restoration projects (PDF 1.17MB).
  • You’ll need to work out how you’re going to maintain your site(s) after the grant funding finishes.

Bush-regeneration teams

If we fund your project, we expect that you’ll use bush-regeneration contractors and their staff that have qualifications, licences and experience in line with industry standards.

As a general guide:

  • bush regeneration team supervisors should be qualified at a Certificate III or higher level in Conservation and Land Management (CALM)
  • regenerators should be qualified at a Certificate II or higher level
  • trainees should at least be enrolled in Certificate II
  • all regenerators are trained in First Aid and Chemical Application (AQIS III) as part of Certificate II. Licenses must be updated every 3 years through a refresher course.

Try to find contractors from your local area.

The current industry-standard rate for bush regeneration is $35–$50 per hour (including on-costs).

Travel costs are generally included in the agreed hourly rate.

Some projects will require additional travel costs, materials or specific skills (e.g. rope work). If you ask us for special funding of this kind you’ll need to give us details of why it’s needed.

Revegetation

It’s best to allow sufficient time for bush areas to regenerate by themselves. However, in some cases you may be able to justify revegetating (collecting seeds, propagating plants and planting them out).

If you’re going to revegetate, you should:

  • source plants or seed in a way that maintains genetic diversity
  • plant with the same diversity and spacing as the reference community (the plant community you’re taking as a guide)
  • expect that a qualified regenerator can plant about 80 plants in a 7-hour day. This includes preparation time, planting and watering
  • allow $3 for each tubestock plant if you’re buying from a native nursery. This cost includes stakes and a protective sleeve
  • consider long-stem (deep) planting if you’re planting near a river.

Threatened species and endangered ecological communities

Your project may be aimed at restoring habitat for threatened species or endangered ecological communities. If it is, you’ll need a licence from the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH).

Discuss your project with an OEH staff member before you put in your grant application. In your application you’ll need to include the staff officer’s name and confirmation of your discussions.

Some licence applications can take a long time to process. You should ask the OEH officer how long it might take to get a licence.

Saving our Species (SOS) is an OEH program to secure threatened plants and animals in the wild in NSW. You can use SOS to identify the type of management required for every threatened species in NSW.