What is a Biolink?
A biolink, also known as a habitat corridor, links separate habitat patches and aims to support biodiversity by:
- Reducing fragmentation by building upon and ultimately connecting habitat patches that have been subdivided, reduced and/or isolated.
- Providing habitat for wildlife that can persist in narrow corridors, or use them for foraging, breeding or sheltering.
- Providing pathways for individual animals to move between patches.
- Facilitating genetic exchange between populations in isolated habitat patches, therefore reducing their risk of local extinction.
- Enabling recolonisation of patches where species are locally extinct.
- Enabling species to disperse to areas with more suitable climatic conditions in the face of climate change.
Biolinks have been found to effectively increase movement between patches for a broad range of species. Species that cannot move through unsuitable habitat or that rely upon metapopulation dynamics to recolonise habitat following population declines, are thought to benefit considerably from biolinks.
Applications will go through a two-step process:
- Initial Feasibility Assessment and
- Detailed Assessment.
The Shire has developed a biolink decision support tool which will provide the key mechanism for assessment of applications in areas of:
- Criteria for site values and suitability.
- Community and economic considerations.
- Feasibility and effectiveness.
- Monitoring and reporting.
Applications must also align to the Council and Wellbeing Plan Theme 1 and achieve one or more of the priorities below.
Biolinks Grant Priorities
1.Reduction of wildlife habitat fragmentation and provide connectivity for fauna movement.
2. Reduced risk of local fauna and flora extinctions and buffer climate change effects
1.Council and Wellbeing Plan
Proposed project demonstrates alignment to the Council and Wellbeing Plan Theme 1.
2.Bio-links Grant Priorities
Proposed project will contribute to one or more Biolinks Grant Program priorities listed in this table in the left column.
3.Biodiversity Conservation Partnerships
Proposed project shows community engagement and collaboration with other community partners.
4.Feasibility of the project
The project is able to be delivered. This includes permits, landowner permission and/or Community Capital Infrastructure Proposal Form completed if required. Our Project - Proposal Form (openforms.com)
5.Capacity of Applicant
The Applicant’s demonstrated capacity, skills and experience including volunteers to deliver the project.
Applicant’s budget for delivery of the project is realistic and shows volunteer in-kind contribution as well as co-contribution.
Refer to pages 2 and 3 of the guidelines.
- Eligible organisations include, Incorporated Associations, Not-for-Profit (NFP), Registered Charities and community groups. Unincorporated community groups require an auspice organisation. For Commercial Businesses, Sole Traders and individuals, please refer to specific grant funding stream for eligibility.
- Organisations are limited to one grant within a financial year, if successful in the application process. Panel decisions are based on merit. Flexi Grants are an exception enabling organisations to apply for an additional grant to meet a community need. Flexi Grants will remain open all year, closing mid-June and/or until funds have been expended. Refer Flexi Grants in Theme 3 Grant Program Guidelines.
- Applicant organisations must be registered, solvent and have adequate level of public liability insurance relevant to the activity. (Note: unincorporated community groups must use an auspice organisation to apply).
- If an incorporated organisation is acting as an auspice organisation, it must only support two unincorporated organisations within a financial year.
- The applicant or auspice organisation must not be in debt and must be compliant with all grants previously awarded by Council.
- All projects, programs and activities must take place with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Local Government Area.
- An applicant school or learning institution may apply only where the project is not curriculum based, or where the activity or benefit is not confined to the learning institution but is for the primary benefit of the wider community.
- Retrospective funding for activities, programs and projects that have already started or have been completed will not be eligible.
- Successfully funded projects/programs will receive a Funding Agreement. Major Funding Agreements must be signed by all parties. All projects/programs, unless specifically funded for multiple years, must be completed by the end of the financial year in which they received the funding or in accordance with their Funding Agreement. Extension for project delays need to be approved by the Program Manager for the Grant Program.
- The Funding Agreement will reference an Acquittal, which must be completed in full by the due date.