Australian Government investment in Landcare

The Australian Government recognises and supports the important role that community and industry organisations play as part of the Landcare movement in protecting and improving the condition of soils, water, vegetation and biodiversity on-farm as well as reducing off farm impacts on natural resources. The good condition of these natural resources underpins the productivity and profitability of the agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries and deliver wider community benefits. This phase of the National Landcare Program, announced in May 2017, will provide financial support for Landcare activities until June 2023. The National Landcare Program is jointly delivered by the Departments of Agriculture, and Environment and Energy. Here we detail information on the agriculture related programs.

Information about the environment only and joint agriculture and environment elements, (including Regional Land Partnerships) of the National Landcare Program, are on the nrm website.

The agriculture only components of the National Landcare Program are detailed below.

Smart Farms

The Government has allocated $134 million under Smart Farms to support the development and uptake of best practice, tools and technologies that help farmers, fishers, foresters and regional communities improve the protection, resilience and productive capacity of our soils, water and vegetation, in turn supporting successful primary industries and regional communities.

The program will focus on protecting and improving the condition of soil, vegetation and biodiversity and support agricultural systems to adapt to change.

Smart Farms runs over six years from 2017-18. It is made up of the following three elements:

Smart Farming Partnerships

Smart Farming Partnerships (up to $60 million) offers grants ranging between $250,000 and $4 million (GST exclusive). These larger innovative projects are delivered in partnerships where relevant and effective partnerships between experienced and skilled organisations and individuals to deliver the projects. Smart Farming Partnerships will:

  • develop, trial and implement new and innovative tools that support sustainable agriculture practice changes that in turn will deliver more productive and profitable agriculture, fishing, aquaculture and farm forestry industries
  • protect Australia’s biodiversity
  • protect and improve the condition of natural resources (in particular soils and vegetation), and
  • assist Australia to meet its obligations under relevant international treaties.

Round 2

Applications for the second and final round of Smart Farming Partnerships closed on 17 May 2019. Applications are currently being assessed.

Round 1

Applications for round 1 closed 21 December 2017. This round funded 15 projects to a value of up to $27.35 million (GST exclusive). Projects are planned to be completed by April 2022 and are now underway. Further details on round 1 are contained in the round 1 guidelines which are accessible through the Community Grants Website.

Projects funded in round 1 are listed below:

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Smart Farming Partnerships Round 1 list of successful applicants PDFPDF Icon14404 KB
Smart Farming Partnerships Round 1 list of successful applicants DOCXWord Icon1444 KB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility.

Smart Farms Small Grants

Smart Farms Small Grants (up to $50 million) range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $200,000 (GST exclusive). Smart Farms Small Grants funds organisations and individuals to undertake sustainable agriculture projects and build the capacity and capability of Australia’s farmers, fishers and foresters to adopt best practice natural resource management methods. This will deliver more sustainable, productive and profitable agriculture, fishing, aquaculture and forestry industries, protect and improve the condition of natural resources (in particular soils and vegetation), and assist in protecting Australia’s biodiversity.

Organisations and individuals may apply for funding for projects that promote and deliver land manager adoption of best practice sustainable land management. Applicants may also apply for projects that strengthen the capacity of Landcare groups and others to improve land manager adoption of best practice. Projects may be delivered locally, regionally and multi-regionally.

Round 2

Applications for round 2 closed 11 January 2019. This round funded 110 projects to a value of up to $9.25 million (GST Exclusive). Projects are planned to be completed by September 2021 and will commence soon. Further details on round 2 are contained in the round 2 guidelines which are accessible through the Community Grants Website.

Projects funded in round 2 are listed below:

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Smart Farms Small Grants round 2 - list of successful projects PDFPDF Icon55648 KB
Smart Farms Small Grants round 2 - list of successful projects DOCXWord Icon5584 KB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility.

Round 1

Applications for round 1 closed 7 December 2017. This round funded 77 projects up to a value of up to $4.75 million (GST exclusive). Projects are planned to be completed by April 2020 and are now underway. Further details on round 1 are contained in the round 1 guidelines which are accessible through the Community Grants Website.

Projects funded in round 1 are listed below:

Download

DocumentPagesFile size
Smart Farms Small Grants round 1 - list of successful projects PDFPDF Icon39548 KB
Smart Farms Small Grants round 1 - list of successful projects DOCXWord Icon3980 KB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility.

A further four rounds are expected under the program.

Building Landcare Community and Capacity

Building Landcare Community and Capacity ($24 million) ad-hoc grants. Working directly with the Landcare community and farmer organisations, activities suitable for funding will be identified by the department. These activities are likely to include, but are not limited to:

  • awards and recognition for excellence among the Landcare community
  • leadership development opportunities
  • conferences and networking events
  • communication and community engagement activities and other projects that strengthen the social and technical capacity that underpins the delivery of Landcare, and
  • efforts by Landcare and farming groups to deliver on-the-ground improvements in land management.

There is also information on the nrm website in video format concerning the Smart Farms program.