Rural Engagement Program

Hume-Rural-Engagement-Concept-2021-22

The Rural Engagement Program supports rural landowners and managers in Hume to sustainably manage their land, agriculture and the environment. This includes activities such as controlling noxious weeds and pests on properties, protecting and enhancing native vegetation and creeks, and supporting agricultural land uses such as running a viable agribusiness or hobby-farm.

It is made up of a suite of sub-programs, including the:

  • Primary Producer Rate Rebate (PPRR)
  • Rural Land Management Grant (RLMG)
  • Conserving our Rural Environment (CoRE) Grant

Upcoming community consultations

Register here for upcoming online information sessions to be held in November 2020.

The Rural Engagement Program introduces several changes to the incentives and type of support Council previously offered rural landowners. This includes:

  • Replacing the Agricultural Land Use Rebate (ALUR) with the PPRR
  • Replacing the CoRE Small Grant of $300 with the RLMG
  • Retaining the CoRE Project Grant (grants up to $10,000) without change
  • Introducing a new Weed Compliance Program that enables Council to enforce the control of some noxious weeds within the municipality
  • Enhancing the education and capacity-building program that Council offers to landowners.

Information or drop-in sessions will be held in late 2020 and early 2021 where Council Officers will explain the changes in detail and enable you to ask questions. 

For more information please read the Rural Engagement Program FAQs(PDF, 5MB).

If you cannot attend a consultation you can email your questions and enquiries to ruralenvironemnt@hume.vic.gov.au or alternatively call one of the below Council Officers:

Primary Producer Rate Rebate

The Primary Producer Rate Rebate (PPRR) supports investment in sustainable agriculture and land management activities by providing approved applicants with an annual discount on the property's annual rates. The rebate is calculated as a 30 per cent discount on the general rate for approved properties, which is calculated against the Capital Improved Value of the property.

Eligibility

  1. Property is two hectares or over
  2. Provide evidence of agricultural business. This could include, but is not limited to:
    • income Tax Assessment showing Primary Producer
    • letter from accountant determining Primary Producer
    • Property Identification Code (PIC)
    • ABN (Australian Business Number)
    • evidence of registered primary producer with the Australian Taxation Office
    • other business records to Council’s satisfaction
  3. Demonstrating satisfactory sustainable land management

For more information please read the Primary Producer Rate Rebate Guidelines(PDF, 13MB)

Conserving our Rural Environment Grant

The Conserving our Rural Environment (CoRE) Grant aims to conserve and improve the natural environmental values on private rural property. This will be achieved through the support and funding of on-ground environmental works, capacity building and community engagement initiatives. Landowners or managers that are eligible can apply for up to $10,000 ex. GST to put towards a project that will enhance biodiversity on their property.

 Eligibility

  1. Must have or be applying for a Land Management or Property Plan that is less than five years old
  2. Must have an environmental asset present on the property. This could include, but is not limited to:
    • native vegetation, which could include woodlands, grasslands or riparian areas
    • property bordered by a waterway
  3. Property with an overall goal to enhance the biodiversity of the area

For more information please read the CoRE Grant Guidelines(PDF, 172MB).

Rural Land Management Grant

The aim of the Rural Land Management Grant (RLMG) is to provide sustainable landowners or managers with the support and incentive to conduct land management activities across their property. The grant is offered at $300 per property plus $20 per hectare. The RLMG is provided in the form of a reimbursement to the landowner via cheque following submission and approval of an annual application form. The grant program is offered on a competitive basis as there is a limited pool of funding and, as a result, some eligible applicants may not receive the grant. There is a cap of $2,000 of grant funding per property per year. 

Eligibility

  1. Property is within Green Wedge, Green wedge A, Rural Living and farming zones
  2. Property is 0.04 hectares in size or greater
  3. Evidence of satisfactory land management can be demonstrated
  4. Landowners who do not receive the Conserving our Rural Environment grant and the Primary Producer Rate Rebate

What can I use the grant for?

  • conducting weed control through the purchase of equipment or herbicide
  • hiring a contractor to conduct land management works
  • pest animal control
  • purchase of indigenous seedlings for revegetation works
  • erosion control works.

For more information please read the Rural Land Management Grant Guidelines(PDF, 9MB).

How do I apply?

An expression of interest period for the Rural Engagement Program will open on 1 February 2021. Please check back closer to the date for a guide on how to express your interest.

The easy to use questionnaire on SmartyGrants will guide you through the eligibility of each program and highlight the program that best suits your property.

Who can I call if I need assistance or have an enquiry?

If you have questions about the Rural Engagement Program or need application assistance, please contact Council’s Land and Biodiversity Team on 9205 2200 or email ruralenvironment@hume.vic.gov.au