Bushbank to regenerate habitats and drive jobs

By Our Reporter
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Mother koala hugghing baby koala. Photo by Joseph Pérez on Unsplash

The Andrews Labor Government is transforming parcels of private land – that combined cover an area five times the size of the City of Melbourne—into new habitats helping Victorian wildlife thrive and capturing carbon.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today called for expressions of interest to partner in the landmark BushBank program, restoring 20,000 hectares of private land and creating more than 100 jobs across Victoria.

The almost $31 million investment will revegetate and restore our precious biodiversity with millions of trees and shrubs, delivering unique habitats for Victorian wildlife and storing more than 4.5 million tonnes of carbon thanks to the program—integral to Victoria reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, an official press release said.

This will generate new opportunities for regional communities and income streams for landowners, driving investment from emerging carbon markets, supporting biodiversity and creating jobs.

BushBank will also include an initial $7 million in grants available to Traditional Owner Corporations to lead restoration on Country.

The program supports Aboriginal self-determination with opportunities for Traditional Owners to identify priority values and locations for restoration, pursue training and capacity building opportunities, investigate new emissions-reduction methodologies for cultural practices, and seek out natural-resource related economic opportunities.

These programs are part of the Government’s $77 million Nature restoration for carbon storage—BushBank program announced in the Victorian Budget 2020/21, which works to restore public and private land across Victoria.

BushBank is supported by the $15.3 million Victorian Carbon Farming Program, helping landowners to plant agroforestry and shelterbelt trees, access existing carbon markets and drive on-farm benefits and new income streams.

The program will play a key role in helping meet the Government’s Biodiversity 2037 targets to permanently protect 200,000 hectares of private land and revegetate 200,000 hectares of land in priority areas. The Labor Government has invested nearly $500 million towards protecting biodiversity since 2014.


For more information visit: environment.vic.gov.au/bushbank

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