New Government priority funded projects

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.

Five projects were identified under the new government priority funding stream to respond to the issues identified in the Prospectus 2021 survey. Trust administration has worked with stakeholders to scope and co-design the projects.

Details of the grants awarded under this stream in 2021 and 2022 can be found below.

The Large Forest Owls – Safe Havens (Safe Havens) – 2022

The Nature Conservation Council (NCC) was awarded $1,193,759 over 3 years to support the recovery of large forest owls, and other hollow dependant threatened species catastrophically impacted by the 2019–20 bushfires in the Richmond-Clarence Lowlands in New South Wales. The project will partner with landholders and land managers to implement a range of on-ground restoration actions, landholder outreach, and education. These actions will help to provide a better understanding of the status and recovery of the target species across the project area, better connectivity and habitat resilience, and a more informed and capable community of stakeholders.

Seabirds to Seascapes – 2022

A $6,598,958 3-year grant was awarded to the NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water to support biodiversity in a range of communities across the NSW marine estate. The project includes 3 elements:

  • restoring Sydney Harbour’s marine ecosystems by installing living seawalls, and replanting seagrass meadows and kelp forests
  • supporting the future of little penguins in New South Wales by conducting the first ever statewide little penguin census to better understand their population size and how they’re responding to threats such as climate change
  • helping fur seals thrive as a species by conducting a seal survey to identify their preferred habitat, breeding grounds, diet and key threats.

Seabirds to Seascapes is being led by the NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, in partnership with experts from the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS), Taronga Conservation Society Australia and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

NSW Rewilding Initiative – 2021

A $20 million, 10-year grant has been awarded to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to establish a network of 4 feral free areas within the national parks estate and reintroduce 28 locally extinct species (23 of which are threatened). It will also deliver a measurable conservation benefit for at least another 30 threatened species which, in turn, will help restore essential ecosystem function and processes.

Performance Scorecards – 2021

National Parks and Wildlife Service were awarded $7,050,921 over 4 years to trial the development and use of data-based metrics to track the ecological health of 8 major NSW national park aggregations. This will include changes in the level of threats and populations of indicator species and expenditure data. The data will be published via annual performance scorecards and reports for each national park aggregation, which will also identify required management action. The information gathered will be used to inform major improvements in NPWS park management, to enhance the ecological health of these national park aggregations.

Clean Technology Research and Development Grants – 2021

Forty million dollars has been allocated to the Clean Technology Research and Development (R&D) Grants Program, which will invest in research and development of commercially viable technologies, services or processes that have potential to significantly reduce emissions of high emitting or hard-to-abate sectors within the NSW economy up to, and beyond, 2030. The grants will be awarded via 6 annual funding rounds, with the first commencing in 2022. Annual funding priorities will be guided by the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer Decarbonation Innovation Study.

Clean Tech Innovation Hubs – 2021

A $15 million, 9-year grant was awarded to the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer to establish a NSW Decarbonisation Innovation Hub to accelerate the development and adoption of clean technologies to reduce emissions while generating economic benefits for New South Wales with collaborative efforts from government, industry and research partners. The Hub will support a mature and collaborative decarbonisation innovation community in New South Wales to develop, commercialise and adopt decarbonised technologies and services to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050.

Low Emissions Specifications – 2021

A $14.75 million, 8-year grant was awarded to the NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water for a program that aims to accelerate and support the adoption of low emissions specifications in specific industry and government sectors, contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in New South Wales. The program will be developed in 3 stages, commencing mid-2022. Key areas of focus include the development of technical specifications for electric vehicle chargers, several low emissions building materials specifications and the supporting accelerated uptake of voluntary residential ratings.

Pair of barking owls (Ninox connivens)