Central Tablelands Local Land Services funding and grants program applications open

TWO Bathurst district farmers can recommend a Local Land Services funding program because it helped them get rid of the goats.

BOOST: Bathurst farmers Emma and Michael Grabham used a Local Land Services grant to fence off an important area of remnant vegetation.

BOOST: Bathurst farmers Emma and Michael Grabham used a Local Land Services grant to fence off an important area of remnant vegetation.

The Central Tablelands Local Land Services 2017 funding and grants program, which will offer $1.6 million, is accepting applications until later this month.

In a previous funding round, Bathurst farmers Emma and Michael Grabham teamed up with Central Tablelands LLS to fence off an important area of remnant vegetation while also improving grazing management on their property, “Peronne”.

The Grabhams say applying for a grant and working with LLS was worthwhile.

“We’ve fenced off a 151 hectare area of remnant vegetation on the back boundary of our property between Peel and Wattle Flat,” Mr Grabham said.

“We had a problem with feral goats. You couldn’t spell the paddock because the goats would eat off the feed as soon as it came up. The country was under constant grazing pressure.”

An incentive grant from LLS helped fund the construction of goat-proof fencing in late 2016 to protect remnant vegetation, improve grazing management in the adjacent paddocks and help remove goats from the area.

Excluding livestock from this area of grassy box gum woodland at the headwaters of the Pennyweight Creek is allowing native species to regenerate.

“It’s a nice piece of natural bushland containing yellow box, white box, stringybark, kurrajong, black cyprus and black thorn, which is also habitat for the Bathurst Copper Butterfly,” Mr Grabham said.

“You can already see the difference where there is vegetation starting to come away. Over time we expect the natural shrub layer to start to return.

“Long term I don’t expect we will put major grazing back on this block, even at the end of the 10-year Local Land Services agreement.”

“Peronne” has been in Mr Grabham’s family for generations.

“I think it’s fantastic to protect these sites and I would love to do more conservation work because there are areas on the property that are not ideal for grazing, but have high conservation and beneficial habitat value,” he said.

“Funding is the hardest obstacle to overcome, so the support from Local Land Services has been very useful.”

The Central Tablelands Local Land Services funding and grants program is supported through funding from Catchment Action NSW and the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

Applications will be assessed and funded in the order that they are received. The funding round closes on August 18, however, all funds may be fully allocated prior to this date.

For more information, phone Colleen Farrow on 6363 7874 at Central Tablelands Local Land Services.