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Heritage Agreements are helping to maintain important ecosystems in South Australia. 

Since the Native Vegetation Heritage Agreement program was first introduced in 1980, more than 2800 landholders have agreed to ensure the long-term protection of over 1 million hectares of the state’s native vegetation.

Revitalising Private Conservation in South Australia

The SA Government has committed $3 million in funding over the next two years (from August 2020) to revitalise the current SA Heritage Agreement program for voluntary conservation on private land. 

This two-year round of funding is here to help landholders and support farmers to improve their bushland and protect native vegetation and the species that depend on it, into the future. 

The Heritage Agreement grants funding will be rolled out through two types of grants:

  • Small grants – up to $10,000
  • Large grants – more than $10,000.

To be eligible for these grants, you must first be a Heritage Agreement landholder. Find out if you’re eligible for an agreement.

How to apply for a small Heritage Agreement grant

Small grants are on offer – up to $10,000 per applicant.

The purpose of small grants is to achieve property-scale conservation outcomes, which are quick and easy to execute.

Small grants may cover submissions that include:

  • developing and implementing a property-scale conservation plan
  • erecting fencing to exclude stock from area of high-conservation value and creating signage to promote the Heritage Agreement program
  • equipment and labour costs for weed or feral animal eradication
  • assistance to create a property management plan
  • work relating to conservation outcomes.

Applications for small Heritage Agreement grants opened on 4 August 2020. To apply, visit the Nature Foundation website.

How to apply for a large Heritage Agreement grant

Large grants are on offer – more than $10,000 per applicant.

Large grants help to achieve large-scale conservation outcomes, creating corridors and connectivity between areas of private conservation or to achieve conservation outcomes on large parcels of land. These large grants will also encourage multiple Heritage Agreements to be included under one grant.

Large grants may cover submissions that include:

  • broad grant ideas that foster innovation
  • supporting landholders to develop ecologically sound fire management plans
  • regional partnership projects across multiple Heritage Agreement properties
  • partnerships that aim to protect and restore conservation values across multiple properties
  • projects that aim to work with multiple landholders to develop carbon farming proposals to restore native vegetation
  • projects that present complex issues to be managed, that would otherwise be difficult to achieve on isolated parcels.

Sign up to be notified when applications for large Heritage Agreement grants open in October 2020.

Heritage Agreements

What is a Native Vegetation Heritage Agreement?

A Native Vegetation Heritage Agreement is a conservation area on private land, established between the landholder and the Minister for Environment and Water on recommendation of the Native Vegetation Council (NVC), that contributes to protecting and/or restoring indigenous biodiversity. 

Heritage Agreements are established in perpetuity to protect and enhance the natural character of the flora and fauna. Many unique features are found within privately owned land, and can often form part of an important wildlife corridor, provide an extension to national or conservation parks, or help establish private sanctuaries.

Each Heritage Agreement, while bound by standard conditions, is unique and can include clauses specific to the management of the native vegetation within the conservation area.

Any change in ownership or lease to the property that contains the Heritage Agreement area must be noted to the Native Vegetation Branch. Regardless of lease, transfer or sale, the Heritage Agreement remains binding on the property title holder at that time.

For Heritage Agreements entered into voluntarily by a landholder, the NVC will meet the costs associated with the negotiation, assessment, drafting and registering of the Heritage Agreement.

Land protected by a Heritage Agreement provides an important accompaniment to the state's natural character. As such, land under the Heritage Agreement is valued differently as a recognition of its conservation status. 

Properties identified in the agreement or registered plan as Heritage Agreement areas can receive a reduced valuation and subsequent reduction in particular rates and taxes. The reduction is based on property valuations made by the State Valuation Office and varies between properties across the state. 

Note: The NVC is an advisory body established under the Native Vegetation Act 1991, and the Minister may not enter into, vary or terminate a Heritage Agreement without first consulting with and obtaining the approval of the NVC.

Looking to become a Heritage Agreement landholder

Find out whether your property would be eligible to enter into a Heritage Agreement:

Are you eligible to become a Heritage Agreement landholder

How to apply for a Heritage Agreement

 Fill out the Heritage Agreement quick application either online or download the form . Once you have submitted your form a team member from the Native Vegetation Branch will be in touch.

If you are successful in this application, you will be able to apply for both the small and large grants listed above.

Contact us

  • For general general advice and direction about whether your site is suitable as a Heritage Agreement conservation area, contact aRegional Officer at your local Landscape Board in the first instance. 
  • Queries relating to existing applications or current Heritage Agreements can be made via the Native Vegetation Branch.
  • If you have submitted an application, or are seeking follow up information, please contact the department's Native Vegetation Branch by submitting an online enquiry.
Click here to view form.