For Geoff Everist, the numbers all add up.
Since moving onto his 250 hectare grazing and cropping property in
a decade ago, CMA Waterway Grants haven’t just made sense environmentally - they’ve literally made cents financially.
When Geoff heard about the grants through his local Landcare group in 2000 he made an application through the Goulburn Broken CMA (GBCMA). After receiving approval, Geoff and the GBCMA then took the first of many steps that has helped him restore fencing and vegetation along what was a partially eroded and bare anabranch of the Seven Creeks.
“Firstly, we planted trees that linked into a native bush area, so birds could fly through the plantation into this area.” Then, in 2001, Geoff established off-creek water troughs and fenced off the anabranch to help keep stock out and manage revegetation of the bank. With the replenishment of the native grasses and trees, Geoff now manages his grazing in the fenced-off area to control weeds but ensures no damage to the trees.
The hardest part, according to Geoff, was locking away land for the works. But, he maintains, after looking at how much money he could save on fencing, the concept became a lot more attractive. The CMA provides grants for fencing, off-stream watering and revegetation adjacent to priority rivers and streams. The grants increase in value the further from the stream the landholder is prepared to fence (a minimum of 10 meters), but, generally, the grants exceed 50% of the fencing costs and can go up to a maximum of 75%.
Further to cost savings on fencing, Geoff believes the recent CMA works have increased the value of his property. This belief is supported by local property valuer and consultant David McKenzie from the Hann McKenzie Group. “Generally, fenced-off water frontage is not as valuable as land with direct access to water – that’s what people love. However, there is no question that if the frontage is degraded, then fencing and remediation works would certainly be of significant benefit.”
For more information about Goulburn Broken CMA Waterway Grants phone 5822 2288 or visit www.gbcma.vic.gov.au.