Major projects

The NSW Environmental Trust funds projects that tackle large or complex issues. We choose these major projects through consultation with key stakeholders

About the program

Projects funded under the Environmental Trust’s Major Projects funding stream are designed to tackle large-scale and/or complex issues. The Trust identifies and designs these projects through consultation with key stakeholders.

There are four categories of Major Projects. These are:

Ongoing major projects

These projects are ones that the Trust has historically funded on an ‘ongoing’ basis for an extended period. They generally address priority environmental issues identified by the Trust as being worthy of continuous funding as they remain an unfunded priority issue or relate directly to the Trust’s statutory Objects. The need for ongoing funding for these projects is reviewed periodically.

Strategic major projects

These projects represent the Trust’s 'proactive' projects. Under this category, the Trust funds multi-year projects, based on the Trust’s agreed priorities. Funding is guided by a biennial Major Projects Prospectus.

New government priorities

From time to time, the Trust has been asked to fund new priorities of government. These are generally high priority issues that address point-in-time environmental issues or complement new policy or legislative frameworks.

Unsolicited projects

While the majority of Trust funds are committed through existing programs, the Trust acknowledges that opportunities may arise from time to time to improve the environment of NSW through projects that are not identified or are not eligible through its standard programs. Due to the nature of this funding stream, the most suitable projects for funding are generally non-time bound, niche projects or those which address new or emerging environmental issues. To realise these opportunities, the Trust can also accept unsolicited proposals for consideration. There is no dedicated funding source for these proposals and funding availability cannot be assured in any particular year.

Interested parties must contact the Senior Team Leader, Major Funded Projects on 02 8837 6093 to discuss potential projects prior to submitting an unsolicited proposal.

Planning and reporting

Major Projects staff will provide you with the necessary planning and reporting documents.

Acknowledgement requirement

You must prominently acknowledge the Trust’s assistance in all publications and promotional material relating to the project by using the following statement:

This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.

You also need to use the New South Wales Government logo. See Funding acknowledgement and logos for details.

Program achievements

Learn about current major projects from the NSW Environmental Trust Annual Report.


Consistent with what we ask of grant recipients, we (the Environmental Trust) regularly have our grant programs and projects independently evaluated. This helps us assess how well they meet their intended outcomes and how they could be improved in the future. These evaluations may also help to inform new funding programs.

Roadside Vegetation Implementation Project

We engaged the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to undertake an evaluation of Stages 1 and 2 of the Roadside Vegetation Implementation Project. The project provided approximately $2.35 million of funding in 2 stages between 2011 and 2014. The evaluation assessed the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of the project. We have accepted, wholly or partially, all the recommendations.

We also asked the NRC to provide independent advice for investment priorities for a possible third stage of the project. The reports and our response are available on the NRC website.

Contaminated Land Management Evaluation

The Natural Resources Commission (NRC) has also evaluated the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA’s) Contaminated Land Management (CLM) Program, which was funded by the Trust: we’ve provided $13.1 million in funding to the program since 2001. In May 2017, the NRC found a demonstrable need for funding for CLM, but recommended that the Trust re-evaluate if and how it should continue to invest in CLM. The report and responses from the Trust and EPA are available on the NRC website.