The City offers two types of VCA - General Voluntary Conservation Agreements and Higher Voluntary Conservation Agreements.
- The General VCA is not binding on future owners.
- The Higher VCA places a conservation covenant on the property title and the property or part of the property is rezoned to Conservation Domain under the City Plan.
- Both the General and Higher VCA are terminated when the property changes ownership. VCAs can also be terminated when both parties (City of Gold Coast and the landowner) agree to terminate.
- The covenant and rezoning associated with a Higher VCA will remain over the designated conservation area after the VCA is terminated.
- Landowners with a VCA can undertake normal activities such as building construction, maintenance of rural/residential buildings and other activities on land excluded from the VCA, under the rules set out by the City Plan.
As a property owner with a Voluntary Conservation Agreement (VCA), you will receive financial assistance and support to conserve native vegetation and wildlife habitat on your property, as well as peace of mind knowing your property’s bushland is protected.
The level of rate assistance depends on the type of VCA (agreement) and the size of the area protected under the agreement.
Property owners with a General VCA are entitled to an annual rate discount of between 30 and 50 per cent, based on the size of the area protected.
Property owners with a Higher VCA are entitled to an annual rate discount of between 50 and 100 per cent, based on the size of the property and the proportion of the property covered by the agreement.
Depending on the type of agreement, a property owner with a VCA can receive up to $5000 cash reimbursement each year to help fund management activities on the property, in accordance with the management guidelines set out in the VCA.
City of Gold Coast will work with you to develop a property-specific management plan that considers your capacity, resources and future vision for your land. The plan will be reviewed annually.
Property owners with a VCA receive all the benefits offered through the Land for Wildlife scheme.
To be eligible for a Voluntary Conservation Agreement (VCA), a property must:
- be located in an area where future urban or park residential development is not proposed by the City Plan
- have a conservation area of at least two hectares, if joining City or State conservation estate, or five hectares, if not joining City or State conservation estate
- have significant nature conservation values. When assessing a property for a VCA, the below strategic and ecological values will be taken into consideration:
- 'endangered' or 'of concern' regional ecosystems
- threatened flora or fauna
- high quality, intact, old growth remnant vegetation
- ecologically significant native vegetation forming part of a wildlife corridor linking major remnants
- ecologically significant native vegetation adjoining national park or other conservation reserve
- land suitable for restoration which is located within a critical corridor or other strategic location.
Further to the above criteria, the landholder must be able to work in partnership with City.
How to apply for the Voluntary Conservation Agreement
If you think your property meets these criteria and you are interested in a Voluntary Conservation Agreement, contact a Conservation Partnerships Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07 5582 8896.