​Media Release

Sustainability the buzz word among Aussie innovators​

​31 July 2018

  • Almost $5 million for 77 projects funded through round one of Smart Farms Small Grants
  • The grants of between $5,000 and $100,000 are part of the $134 million Smart Farms Program
  • Part of the more than $1.1 billion second phase of the National Landcare Program

​Innovators and community groups have been awarded Landcare grants of between $5,000 and $100,000 to adapt to change, innovate and become more sustainable.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said 77 innovative projects would be funded to the tune of $5 million through the National Landcare Program Smart Farms Small Grants.

"Round one of the Smart Farms Small Grants is funding a range of projects including soil health, weed control, water security, climate smart farming, bee friendly farms and wildfire response," Minister Littleproud said.

"Farmers across Australian rangelands will be better prepared for wildfires through a new mobile app based on the North Australia Fire Information website.

"The app will provide property managers with invaluable real time data on hotspots (current fires), and fire scars (burnt areas) and help them with prescribed burning and wildfire responses.

"The Australian Native Bee Company received over $46,000 to fly drones above the macadamia orchards in NSW and map the native bee habitat.

"The project will produce a planting calendar and ensure year round pollination. Happier bees pollinate better and increase farm yields.

"The Far South Coast Landcare Association in Bega has been granted $100,000 for workshops to drive change in sustainable on-farm practices. They will look at water, soils, livestock health and waste and energy efficiency.

"Aussie farmers have a huge job managing 61 per cent of this nation's land and these grants will assist by providing tools to do that more sustainably.

"The first round of funding was highly competitive, attracting over 800 applications. I strongly encourage those who missed out to apply under future rounds over the coming years."

Fast facts:

  • The National Landcare Program's second phase is an investment of more than $1 billion to 2023
  • Landcare was first launched in 1989 and has had bipartisan support for nearly 30 years