Bush Connect Grants Program

Bush Connect was a one-off contestable grants program seeking to achieve long-term outcomes for the NSW environment within the Great Eastern Ranges (GER) corridor. The Bush Connect grants program is now closed to applications.

Funded by the NSW Environmental Trust in 2015, the program sought partnerships between community and government organisations to protect, conserve and restore the natural environment within the GER corridor.

Supplementary round

In 2017, supplementary grants of between $50,000 and $100,000 were made available through a competitive grant round to existing Bush Connect grantees to extend their projects.

Following assessment, 5 supplementary grants have been awarded. It is estimated that this will result in an additional 2637 hectares of wildlife corridors, and an additional 171 hectares weeded. 


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.


All projects will run for a minimum of 10 years. For the first six years of all projects the Environmental Trust and the applicant are jointly funding up to 80% of the total project cost, with the remaining 20% being committed solely by the applicant over the remaining 4 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% of resources needed within the first 6 years.

Who is the program targeted at?

This program was 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 have assumed 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 are located within the GER corridor, please refer to the Bush Connect Map webpage.

What is being funded?

A range of on-ground activities are being 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 can be achieved through a various types of activities including bush regeneration, weed control, revegetation, fencing, 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 is also being enhanced through a range of activities including training and information sessions, workshops and direct involvement of landholders as part of the projects.

Program priorities

Successful applications demonstrated a strong ability to:

  • 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.


Grants awarded

The Environmental Trust in 2015 approved 16 applications totalling $7,578,262 to be funded over six years. A further 5 supplementary grants totalling $467,566 were awarded in 2017 to existing approved applications.

A list of successful projects (including those receiving a supplementary grant) and project summaries is available on the Bush Connect grants page.

Projects commenced in January 2016 and will run until at least 2026.

Further information

For further information, please contact the Environmental Trust.

Phone:    02 8837 6093
Email:      info@environmentaltrust.nsw.gov.au

Page last updated: 22 December 2017