More than $131,600 in Environmental Levy (EL) grants has been given to nine local organisations in the final round of this year’s EL programme to help enhance the area’s natural attractions and habitats.
“The diversity and wide range in the size of projects underlines how important this particular scheme has become as a means for community groups to work with Council in helping protect and improve our unique environment,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Denise Knight.
Under the programme, grants worth between $2,000 and $25,000 are available per project. Council introduced the Environmental Levy (EL) as a means of undertaking environmental management and improvement works and it currently raises around $1.3m a year at an average cost of $44 per ratepayer, of which around $300,000 is available to the community.
Earlier this year, 12 projects received $237,230 in funding in the 2018-2019 programme. The successful projects in this latest round include:
- Removal of Camphor Laurel trees at the Nana Glen Equestrian Centre – $5,000. The centre provides a popular facility for the Coffs Harbour community to hold equestrian events, cross country, dressage, rodeos, rider training, workshops, allows camping and hosts large events from all over the Mid-North Coast Region. This popular public site has had much regeneration work over the years, but still has a lot of Camphor laurel trees (an invasive weed), including some that pose a safety risk. This project aims to create a safer and more pleasant environment for equestrian events through removal of camphor laurel trees and planting with native species of local provenance that will provide shade for horses and visitors, as well as wildlife habitat, when mature.
- Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare – Revegetating the headwaters of Coffs Creek for wildlife and water quality – $5,000. This project will begin the revegetation of the headwaters of Coffs Creek on a property that was previously a banana plantation at Bennetts Road. The landholder has undertaken extensive weed control and is now looking to plant the riparian zones with local native trees and shrubs to promote good water quality and koala habitat.
- Envite Pandanus dieback recovery project – $24,994. An infestation of the Pandanus planthopper is causing die back in local populations of coastal Pandanus Tree on the Coffs Coast. This project will survey the geographical extent and map the coastal fore dunes and headlands of Pandanus habitat in the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area with the aim of helping develop management actions to minimise the impacts on the Pandanus populations of the Coffs Coast.