Nature Conservation Assistance Program details

The Nature Conservation Assistance Program (NCAP) provides financial assistance to private landholders, for on-ground restoration projects that protect and enhance the natural assets of the Gold Coast. Find out whether you are eligible to apply, how applications are assessed, and other requirements.


To be eligible, applicants must:

  • be a private landholder
  • demonstrate the environmental benefits beyond your property boundary (that is, how the project contributes to the protection, enhancement or management of the city's natural environment)
  • demonstrate your capacity to manage the project and maintain the works in the following years
  • demonstrate your capacity to administer City funding
  • be free of debt to the City.

Projects eligible for funding must be on privately owned land within the Gold Coast and include activities such as:

  • environmental weed control and bush regeneration, to restore areas back to their natural condition
  • planting of local native tube stock to restore a degraded area that won't naturally regenerate
  • establish vegetation corridors
  • rehabilitate the banks of natural waterways.

Costs eligible for funding include:

  • fees for a suitably experienced and qualified contractor
  • hire of specialised equipment, essential for the completion of the project
  • purchase of herbicides, surfactants and registered dyes
  • purchase of tube stock for revegetation, stakes, mulch and fertiliser.


Please read the following information before preparing your Expression of Interest and Application.

Project planning

To be successful when planning the project the applicant should:

  • consult with a Conservation Partnerships Officer at an early stage to ensure project outcomes are clear, well-defined and align with the objectives of the program and Our Natural City Strategy
  • ensure the project can be easily completed within a reasonable timeframe (usually 10 months)
  • divide larger projects into smaller, easily achieved stages
  • discuss the project with other landholders who have undertaken similar projects, where possible
  • discuss the project with neighbours to ensure the proposed activities do not cause a nuisance to neighbouring properties
  • ensure the proposed activities do not interfere with bushfire protection or other land management plans.


A detailed and realistic budget must be provided at the time of your application. The budget must identify each individual item or service and the provider, unit cost and total cost of each item or service.

Your budget is an important part of the application and must be complete, realistic and offer value. These are important factors that will be considered at the assessment stage of your application.


Applications seeking funding for the purchase of services or items with an individual value equal to or greater than $2000 should include a minimum of two quotes for that service or item. Items or services totalling a value less than $2000 should still include the name of the provider for that item or service in the budget.

Quotes should be detailed and include hourly rates, number of labour hours, methodology, materials, herbicides to be used and travel costs.

Project maps

Project map example

A property map with the proposed project clearly defined must be included with the application. It should show the proposed location and extent of the project. If the funding application is for a stage in a long-term project, all stages should be marked on the map with the planning focus on the current stage. We have provided an example project map(JPEG, 480KB).

Please label the map, clearly identifying what areas will be restored at each stage. In your application be consistent and refer to these stages and/or areas using the same terminology.


Contractors engaged for environmental weed control, bush regeneration and revegetation must hold the minimum qualification of a Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management (CaLM) and have demonstrated experience in the relevant field. Contractors engaged for fencing activities must have demonstrated experience in fencing. Preference should be given to local contractors firstly and then to adjoining council regions.

Details of the contractor/s should be provided in the application (including company name, contact person, phone number) so we can contact them regarding the project.

Environmental weed control & bush regeneration

Weed control techniques must be appropriate for the area being rehabilitated and align with the restoration guidelines outlined in the South East Queensland Ecological Restoration Framework. A Conservation Partnerships Officer can assist with determining appropriate strategies and techniques to control environmental weeds.

Herbicides must be registered for the specific weed or be used under an off-label permit. Herbicides must be used in accordance with manufacturer's instructions.

Applications should detail:

  • the main types of weeds to be controlled
  • the area where weed control will be undertaken
  • proposed control measures including technique, type of herbicide and herbicide mixing rates. Weed management activities must be directed at protecting remnant vegetation or rehabilitating degraded areas.

Revegetation to restore degraded areas & establish vegetation corridors

Plants used for revegetation must be locally native, appropriate to the vegetation type of the area being revegetated and no larger than tube stock. You will be required to provide a plant species list for approval from a Conservation Partnerships Officer prior to planting. A Conservation Partnerships Officer can assist in developing an appropriate species list for the revegetation project.

A successful revegetation project needs to be well planned and timed. It is essential to consider elements such as frost, flooding, seasonal rainfall, availability of contractors and availability of suitable tube stock. The project should also align with the restoration guidelines outlined in the South East Queensland Ecological Restoration Framework.

Applications should include details of the intended methodology and techniques used throughout the process. For example, x number of tube stock will be planted x metres apart with follow-up weeding at x intervals for x period-of-time.

Considering the methodology and process will assist with time and budget planning. An estimate of the size of the area to be revegetated must be included in the application.

Fencing to restrict stock access to significant vegetation, wetlands or riparian areas

The type of fencing to be used and an estimate of its length should be outlined in the application and budget. The proposed fence line should also be clearly identified on the project map. Fencing must be of 'wildlife-friendly' design (that is, fencing that does not restrict the movement of, or injure, native wildlife). If restricting stock access to a waterway, a buffer of 30 metres either side of the waterway will need to be restored.


Applications are assessed by a panel of City officers experienced in ecological restoration. Applications will be scored against criteria, such as:

  • the site's connectivity with land managed for conservation, or other significant patches of vegetation
  • if the property lies in a mapped biodiversity area under the City Plan or contains high conservation value areas such as creeks
  • whether the site is habitat for rare or threatened species or has 'of concern' or 'endangered' vegetation
  • the landholder's demonstrated ability to work well in partnership with the City, through participation in other City programs such as Land for Wildlife, and their experience in undertaking and managing a restoration project
  • the applicant's capacity to manage the restoration project, including maintenance of the works undertaken, as well as the allocated funds, including acquittal
  • the project's value for money.

Funding & conditions

The Nature Conservation Assistance Program grants are offered yearly and funding is limited. The minimum annual grant allocation is $3000 and the maximum is $9000. Applicants are eligible to receive a grant up to a total of 3 times. The total funds received may not exceed $20,000.


Landholders are required to provide a co-contribution of 30% to the project. For example, a landholder applying for $8500 of funding will need to make a minimum co-contribution of $2550 (30% of requested funding).

The landholder contribution can be in-kind, cash or a combination of both.

An in-kind contribution is where the landholder contributes their own physical labour (valued at $44 per hour), the use of their own machinery or project materials such as herbicide and mulch.

Cash contributions involve the landholder paying for materials and/or labour.

Funding agreement

Successful applicants will be required to enter into a funding agreement with the City. Conditions of the funding agreement must be adhered to throughout the project. Non-compliance may result in legal action.

A generic copy of the funding agreement is available for viewing here:

Nature conservation funding agreement template(PDF, 280KB)


Successful applicants must submit a progress report and an acquittal report.

Site monitoring

Successful applicants will be required to take photographs at the start and completion of the project and provide these to the City for unlimited use. The successful applicant may be required to provide us with access to the restoration site for up to 3 years to take photos and monitor the project's success.

Unspent funding

If the recipient is not able to apply the funds to the agreed purpose or is unable to comply with the agreed conditions, the City will require funds to be repaid.