Conservation Land Rate
Mornington Peninsula Shire offers a Conservation Land Rate (previously the Land Sustainability Rebate) to eligible properties to encourage best practice conservation land management and engage the community in the protection and enhancement of the natural environment and biodiversity of the peninsula. Approved applicants will pay 75% of the general rate on the land component on their property, excluding the house and surrounds (curtilage).
To be eligible for the Conservation Land Rate, you must:
Be a Mornington Peninsula Shire ratepayer with a property two hectares or more in area
Not already receive the Agricultural rate
Commit to undertake the conservation land management actions outlined in your application
Allow relevant Shire officers to inspect your property to establish and maintain eligibility
Maintain records of works carried out as part of the agreement such as receipts of expenditure, before and after works photos, annual works plans and property management plans, and provide copies of these to the Shire when requested.
Conservation Land Management Actions
Landowners must commit to undertake appropriate conservation land management actions. These need to be outlined on your application and will be discussed with you during the initial property visit. Appropriate conservation land management actions are outlined below. It is the responsibility of the landowner to ensure all works are carried out in accordance with relevant legislation, permits, and appropriately qualified and licensed contractors.
Remnant Vegetation and Habitat Protection
Protect remnant patches of indigenous vegetation on your property – exclude stock and other property management activities through fencing or other means.
Retain habitat features like logs and large old trees (dead or alive).
Control environmental weeds that impact on habitat value and diversity.
Revegetate with local indigenous species to link patches of remnant bush and create or expand habitat corridors.
In areas adjacent to remnant bushland, set aside land to encourage natural regeneration by removing stock and controlling environmental weeds.
Create new habitat by planting with indigenous vegetation that is appropriate for your area.
Protect rare or threatened species cooperatively with the relevant regulatory bodies.
Install nest boxes and other habitat features like logs and rocks, for local native fauna.
To discover more about our local native flora and fauna, visit the Plants of the Peninsula and Wildlife of the Peninsula pages.
Environmental Weed Control
- Control environmental weeds that are impacting on biodiversity, habitat and land productivity – working towards eradication where feasible.
Work co-operatively with your neighbors to reduce localised populations of environmental weeds in your area. This can be done in collaboration with your local Landcare group, see our Landcare on the Mornington Peninsula page.
Reduce the spread of environmental weeds into remnant areas by controlling weed vectors such as livestock movement, vehicles and machinery.
For more information on environmental weeds, visit our Environmental & Noxious Weeds page.
Pest Animal Control
- Control pest animals, such as foxes and rabbits, that are impacting on biodiversity values – reduce or eliminate shelter and other resources or engage a licensed pest animal controller.
For hints and tips on controlling foxes and rabbits, visit our Foxes and Rabbits page.
Plant indigenous vegetation that is appropriate for your local area to expand the cover of indigenous vegetation and create new habitat.
Link patches of remnant bush to create habitat corridors.
Protect revegetation areas from stock or other property management activities.
For more information on selecting indigenous plants suitable for your region, download a revegetation guide for your region from the Revegetation Plant Guides page.
Protect creek corridors and wetlands from stock and other property management activities with fencing or other means.
Retain remnant indigenous vegetation along creeks.
Revegetate with appropriate indigenous plants to enhance and expand creek corridors.
Control environmental weeds that are impacting on biodiversity values.
Repair existing bank or streamside erosion using environmentally sensitive techniques.
You may also be eligible for a Stream Frontage Grant from Melbourne Water for undertaking creek protection activities, for more information on this program visit Melbourne Water's Stream Frontage Management Program page.
Land management actions NOT eligible for the Conservation Land Rate
Land management actions that are NOT eligible for the Conservation Land Rate include:
- Planting species that are not indigenous to your local area, for example Australian native plants, ornamental plants or cultivars
- Planting fruit trees, vegetable and other edible/agricultural plants
- Weed control for the management of pastures and agricultural land
- Weed control that is not focused on environmental weeds.
How to apply
You can complete the online application form here: Conservation Land Rate Application Form. A Shire officer will be in contact with you to arrange a site visit to discuss your application, assess your eligibility and provide advice on your management actions.
If you have submitted an application form and are waiting for a response from us, please pay your rates as normal. If your application is approved, we’ll send you a confirmation letter with details of the rate changes and how it will be paid. Approved applicants will continue to receive the Conservation Land Rate each year without re-applying. However, you must remain willing to allow Shire officers to re-visit your property and continue to keep records of works completed each year. When a property receiving the Conservation Land Rate changes ownership, the rate reduction will be cancelled, and the new owner will need to re-apply.
For further information about the Conservation Land Rate, please contact the Natural Systems team on 1300 850 600.