What is the Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program?

The Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program is a grant to support the immediate survival and long-term recovery and resilience for fire-affected Australian animals, plants, ecological communities and other natural assets and their cultural values for Indigenous Australians.

 

Background

On 6 January 2020, the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, announced $2 billion for a national bushfire recovery fund. This includes a commitment of $50 million for an emergency wildlife and habitat recovery package, as announced by the Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg
MP and the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, on 13 January 2020.

Of this, $25 million has been made available to support wildlife rescue, zoos, natural resource management organisations, Greening Australia and Conservation Volunteers Australia with onground activities. This will include:

  • up to $7 million for natural resource management organisations in bushfire affected areas to carry out emergency interventions including control of feral predators, other pest animals and weeds, and habitat protection measures (such as fencing and nest boxes).
  • up to $7.5 million to support on-ground wildlife rescue, protection and care services and address emerging needs on the frontline. A $1 million grant to the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife will support its Wildlife Heroes program.
  • up to $5 million for Greening Australia to increase supply of seed and native plants for revegetation.
  • up to $3 million for Taronga Zoo, Zoos South Australia and Zoos Victoria for treatment of injured wildlife and the establishment of insurance populations of at-risk species.
  • up to $2.5 million for Conservation Volunteers Australia to mobilise volunteers through a national coordination point.

As part of the package, $25 million has been provided for emergency interventions to help with the immediate survival of affected animals, plants and ecological communities and to control pests and weeds. Of this $25 million:

  • $13 million has been set aside for activities to be delivered by State and Territory governments
  • up to $12 million is available under this Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program grant opportunity.

 

Objectives

The purpose of Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program is to support immediate survival and long-term recovery and resilience for fire-affected Australian animals, plants, ecological communities and other natural assets and their cultural values for Indigenous Australians.

The Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program objectives are designed to guide immediate recovery efforts. The objectives include:

  • prevent extinction and limit decline of native species and ecological communities
  • maximise the chances for long term recovery of native species and ecological communities
  • ensure learning and continual improvement is at the core of the response.

The intended outcomes of the Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program are:

  • improved prospects for species and ecological communities—by limiting decline or preventing extinction
  • improved prospects for cultural values of Indigenous Australians, in relation to species, ecological communities and other natural assets
  • natural values of heritage places are maintained or restored
  • improved understanding of future actions required to ensure recovery.

 

Funding

There is up to $12 million available for grants under the Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program, with grants of between $100,000 and $1 million being offered. It is anticipated that the Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program will be delivered over two or more tranches.

 

Eligible Projects

To be eligible your grant activities should directly address a priority matter (or matters) relevant to the tranche you are applying for, as published on GrantConnect, or address a non-priority matter with sufficient context and justification.

There is a broad range of priority activities that will help to meet the objectives of the program. These may include:

  • protecting unburnt areas within or adjacent to recently burnt ground that provide refugia
  • feral predator and herbivore control to reduce the pressure on native species
  • emergency salvage of plant and animal species for ex-situ conservation or wild-to-wild translocation
  • rapid on-ground assessment for species and communities of concern
  • supplementary shelter, food, and water for native animals where appropriate.

This list is not exhaustive and other activities may be more appropriate for some species, ecological communities and/or other natural assets.

For the avoidance of doubt:

  • the Commonwealth will consider grant activities that expand or supplement existing activities or programs funded by other government entities
  • the Commonwealth will consider grant activities that include or relate to non-priority matters, with sufficient context and justification for the inclusion of these matters. In such cases, the applications must still demonstrate that their proposed actions will contribute to preventing extinction, or contribute to recovery of fire-affected species or ecological communities.

Eligible expenditure items include:

  • on-ground bushfire recovery activities for species, assets and places
  • purchase (or hire) of equipment and supplies to support recovery activities
  • administrative support and overheads additional to the normal day to day running costs of the organisation (maximum 10 per cent)
  • reporting on project progress and outcomes in the form advised by the Department (maximum 5 per cent).

 

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible you must:

  • have an account with an Australian financial institution

and

  • be an Australian legal entity, for instance
    • an individual
    • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
    • a company incorporated in Australia
    • a partnership where each of the partners are legal entities
    • an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander corporation, council or incorporated association
    • a local government authority in Australia
    • an incorporated organisation or cooperative society

and either:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered for GST, if required to be registered by the Australian Tax Office (ATO), or
  • supply a completed Statement by a Supplier form if you do not have an ABN, explaining why you are not required to have an ABN. The template is available on the ATO website at https://www.ato.gov.au/forms/statement-by-a-supplier-not-quoting-an-abn/.

Applications from consortia are encouraged, as long as there is a lead applicant who is solely accountable to the Commonwealth for the delivery of grant activities and the lead applicant and proposed contracting entity is an eligible entity as per the above.

 

Timing

On 28 May 2020 the Closing Date and Time was changed for the grant opportunity so that it can be kept open for a possible Tranche 3.

The Closing Date and Time for Tranche 2 remains unchanged. No decision has yet been taken on whether there will be a Tranche 3. You cannot submit an application after the closing date and time for Tranche 2. If there is a Tranche 3 you will receive a notification via GrantConnect.

 

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