NatureAssist targets specific properties that meet the department's priorities for the Nature Refuges Program. Properties are selected for their significant conservation values, connectivity and their predicted resilience to a changing climate. Landholders of properties identified through this process will be contacted directly by the Queensland Government to ask if they are interested in participating. NatureAssist staff will work with landholders to achieve mutually agreed projects that formally protect significant conservation values on their land and enhance the resilience of the property.

Participation is voluntary and conditional on a nature refuge agreement being signed by the landholder and the Queensland Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef or their delegate.

    Weed management on Eaglefield Creek Nature Refuge

    Weed management on Eaglefield Creek Nature Refuge

    Solar panels at Lower Dinner Creek Nature Refuge

    Solar panels at Lower Dinner Creek Nature Refuge

    A new fenceline at Hanging Rock Creek Nature Refuge

    A new fenceline at Hanging Rock Creek Nature Refuge

    Who is eligible?

    If a property has been identified as being in a priority investment area, the department will contact the landholder to see if they are interested in discussing the possibility of a nature refuge and a NatureAssist-funded project on their property.

    Note: NatureAssist is not available to landholders where a nature refuge is a conditioned requirement of a government-funded acquisition or licence.

    What projects will be considered?

    Projects are negotiated between the department and the landholder. Funding will be considered where a project has a clear conservation outcome and enhances the resilience and sustainable management of a property. In many cases, projects are likely to deliver conservation outcomes as well as benefits to sustainable production.

    If negotiations between the department and the landholder are successful, the department will manage the project and fund contractors to complete the activities. Quotes from landholders to carry out some or all of the works as a principal contractor will be considered. A nature refuge officer can explore these options with the landholder.

    The types of activities favoured include:

    • reducing the impacts of stock and pest animals on environmentally sensitive areas such as vine thickets, watercourses and wetlands by managing access. Examples of activities funded in previous rounds include: establishing artificial watering points away from natural springs or watercourses, erecting fencing to manage stock access, and excluding and controlling pest animals
    • stabilising soils, improving water quality or increasing the value of wildlife habitat
    • integrating the management of pest plants, pest animals and fire.

    Unsuitable activities  include those that:

    • have been previously funded by NatureAssist or other programs
    • have already been undertaken
    • are part of day-to-day maintenance
    • are required under legislation.

    For more information