Voluntary Conservation Agreements (VCAs) are offered to private landowners within Noosa Shire. Through the VCA program Council supports private landowners who wish to protect environmentally significant bushland areas on their property in perpetuity.
A VCA is a contract between a private landowner and Council and provides permanent protection of all or a portion of your land. It is completely voluntary. The agreed conservation area on the property is registered on the title of the land as a covenant and/or Nature Refuge and rezoned as Environment Management and Conservation zoning under the Noosa Plan. This designation remains on title when the property changes ownership.
Noosa Shire is located in one of the most biodiverse areas in Australia, with a significant proportion of remnant native vegetation remaining in private ownership (34%). Protecting native vegetation on private land contributes to the survival of native plants and animals which rely on particular ecosystems. It also provides wildlife corridors between isolated conservation reserves such as National Parks thereby assisting wildlife to move freely through the broader landscape. Council will work with private landowners who wish to contribute towards protecting the Shire’s biodiversity values on their properties.
The protective mechanism is a conservation covenant under the Land Titles Act or a Nature Refuge under the Nature Conservation Act, or rezoning as Environmental Management and Conservation zoning under the Noosa Plan. Council pays for the costs of establishing the protective mechanism, develops an environmental management plan for the property, and under the 5 year agreement provides financial assistance to implement the environmental management plan, such as implementing weed management or revegetation.
In addition, Council’s Conservation Partnerships Officer provides ongoing services tailored to your specific property such as advice on property management, plant surveys and fauna camera monitoring.
When you apply for a VCA your property will be assessed under a number of criteria such as size, presence of threatened ecosystems and plant and animal species, age and structure of the native vegetation, and proximity to existing conservation reserves. To discuss the Voluntary Conservation Agreement Program, contact Council’s Conservation Partnerships Officer on 53296256. An appointment will then be made with you to discuss the VCA program in more detail and do an initial property assessment.