NRM funding trebled for Cudlee Creek fire recovery

News release
12 May 2020

The amount of funding to be made available to support Adelaide Hills small landholders to recover from the Cudlee Creek fire has been almost tripled, following huge interest from the community.

David Greenhough, Chair of the new Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board and overseeing board member of the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges NRM Board, said 270 applications had been received for the Cudlee Creek Fire Landscape Recovery Grants, almost three times as many as had been expected.

The funding is being provided by the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges (AMLR) and the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin (SAMDB) NRM Boards, through the natural resources management levy.

Lobethal Mt Torrens drone view. Photo: Jon Burke

New NRM grants will assist landholders to restore natural resources such as soil, watercourses and biodiversity, impacted by the Cudlee Creek fire. Photo: Jon Burke

“The original $400,000 in funding has now been increased to over $1.1 million in grants available for eligible landholders,” Mr Greenhough said.

“With the restrictions imposed by COVID19, many of the boards’ regular programs such as events, live workshops and field days can’t be held right now, so the funds have been redirected to help landholders with fire recovery.”

Many of the boards’ usual programs are currently being delivered online.

Cudlee Creek Fire Local Recovery Coordinator Alex Zimmerman said lifestyle property owners had specifically been identified as most in need of the grants.

“This section of the rural community had previously missed out on the opportunity to apply for recovery grants, because they don’t earn the majority of their income from the land and therefore weren’t able to access financial support,” he said.

“However, lifestyle properties were just as impacted by the fires as other landholders and they are a significant sector of the local community, so this funding will help support them in their recovery.”

Burnt tree and paddock. Photo: Abbie Thomas

Burnt tree and paddock at Mt Torrens. Photo: Abbie Thomas

Environment Minister David Speirs said the grants, worth up to $5000 per property, will help landholders restore the landscape and natural resources such as soil, water and habitat for the native plants, birds and animals.

“This work might include fencing off areas to protect native vegetation, creeks or soils; controlling pest plants and animals; managing soil erosion; establishing temporary stock containment areas; or to pay for professional land management advice,” Mr Speirs said.

Mr Greenhough said applications had closed and were now being assessed, with grants expected to be allocated in the near future.

More information

Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges