Victorian Carbon Farming Program
Applications for grant funding under the Victorian Carbon Farming Program Pilot are now open for Landowners in the North Central Catchment Management Authority region. Interested Landowners are encouraged to contact Registered Project Advisors to discuss carbon farming project proposals.
The $15.3 million Victorian Carbon Farming Program (VCFP) provides an opportunity for private landholders to reduce emissions and build resilience to a changing climate. This program will support private landholders to:
- plant woodlot, agroforestry and shelterbelt trees
- leverage opportunities available from timber, carbon or environmental markets
- realise on-farm co-benefits such as shade and shelter for stock, soil improvement or improved farm aesthetics
The program is being run as a $3 million pilot for the first 18 months in North Central Victoria. Landowners in the pilot region are currently able to access support from a Registered Project Advisor and partner with them to apply for grants to plant trees on their properties.
For more information download the Victorian Carbon Farming Program Pilot Project Guidelines for Grant Funding.
- Victorian Carbon Farming Program Pilot Project Guidelines for Grant Funding (PDF - 3.4 MB)
- Victorian Carbon Farming Program Pilot Project Guidelines for Grant Funding (WORD - 2.1 MB)
Trees planted under the program can generate new income streams via timber, carbon and environmental markets, off-set on-property emissions, and generate a range of other benefits including stock shelter, biodiversity or improved property aesthetics.
Register of Project Advisors
The following businesses have been registered as Project Advisors to assist Landowners to develop and deliver carbon farming projects in the pilot region.
The information below is provided to assist Landowners to evaluate which Project Advisor can best suit their needs.
Greening Australia and our wholly owned subsidiary Canopy specialise in developing and implementing carbon projects using local native plant species.
We bring over 40 years of revegetation experience putting science-led, nature-based solutions into action. Our team of experts will work with you to diversify your income and improve your land at the same time. Canopy has been running registered carbon projects under the ERF with private landholders since 2015, with expertise in all steps required of a project proponent from project registration to reporting and credit trading. We currently work with around 30 landholders to deliver carbon projects on their properties.
Personalised services include:
- Revegetation advice, planning and cost estimations.
- Specialist assessment of a site’s compliance, eligibility, and risk regarding legislation and associated relevant Rules, Regulations and Guidelines, as well as other applicable state/federal requirements.
- Project credit estimations using FullCAM modelling.
GER-X platform is Greening Australia’s registered landholder portal. Landowners interested in undertaking a VCFP Pilot project with Greening Australia will be directed to register using the GER-X platform.
Landholders unable to access the portal can contact email@example.com.
Regen Farmers Mutual (RFM) helps farmers create value with their nature assets - through carbon & biodiversity markets, supply chains, and productivity gains.
As a member-owned mutual, RFM’s purpose is to help its members achieve the best environmental and economic outcomes for their land. RFM works closely with farming groups, Landcare and NRM’s across Australia – and is currently partnering with Landcare Victoria to run 4 landscape impact programs across Victoria.
We work with farmers to understand potential planting, restoration & protection opportunities, and then design and manage projects that can deliver economically sustainable outcomes. Our approach is to help farmers both individually and collectively maximise their landscape scale impact across the projects we deliver.
For the VCFP, we aim to work with farmers across 3 regions.
- Each participating farmer will sit down with our expert advisors to identify and map opportunities (including plantings) and create their own farm digital twin - a digitised version of their whole of farm plan.
- If a farmer identifies a prospective project on their land, we will then work with them to plan, cost and submit applications.
- We will then work with farmers to manage the delivery of successful projects. The digital twin simplifies the management of projects for farmers and can support environmental claims to markets and buyers.
For more information, contact Andrew Ward, or our local Regen Advisor Danny Pettingill 0421 326 980 to find out more.
For more than thirty years, Victorian-based non-profit organisation TreeProject has been utilising its expertise to revegetate, restore and regenerate land across Victoria. Through volunteer and community-based initiatives that foster connections between urban and rural communities, TreeProject supports Victorian landholders in their efforts to restore their land, generate income and actively contribute to the ongoing fight against climate change.
TreeProject offers landholders low-cost indigenous seedlings, which are grown by trained volunteers dedicating their time and effort to propagate and care for these indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses in their own backyards.
TreeProject can help you access the Victorian Carbon Farming Program (VCFP) which offers economic incentives for landholders who implement eligible, small-scale revegetation projects.
The benefits of engaging with TreeProject include:
- Receive an income stream as well as improve your soil and water quality, prevent erosion and enhance your biodiversity
- Connect with other landholders and environmental enthusiasts who share your vision and values
Contact TreeProject today to find out how we can work together to make a positive difference for your land and the planet.
wood4good has more than 30 years experience providing professional forestry services to a diversity of landowners in the region, from planning and planting, through to the marketing of products. We help landowners design and develop tree-based assets that work for them.
This involves designing, establishing and managing regenerative forestry assets that combine nature-positive environmental benefits with replenishable wood and timber outputs. We are committed to the journey and have clients that we continue to support after 26 years.
wood4good want to help you optimise the value of your trees and achieve successful tree establishment outcomes.
We live and work in the region growing trees for carbon and timber - establishing over 3,000 hectares of native trees across our careers, as well as thinning, pruning, harvesting and marketing plantation timbers.
You can also talk to us about opportunities to maximise your carbon income by accessing the Emissions Reduction Fund through our trusted carbon partners.
If you want your Victorian Carbon Farming Project to work for you, then please drop us a line to discuss your application.
Landowners whose properties are located within the North Central Catchment Management Authority (NCCMA) region are encouraged to contact a VCFP Registered Project Advisor to develop a Joint Project Agreement and Project Plan for their proposed tree plantings.
Registered Project Advisors and Landowners must commit to delivering projects over a 10-year period.
Total funding available to a project is based on the project’s modelled carbon stock at year 10 using the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM).
The Registered Project Advisor is responsible for submitting a Joint Project Application (and Declaration) for the project to receive grant funding from the government.
The VCFP Pilot supports a broad suite of tree planting projects and management approaches including linear windrows and shelterbelts, woodlots and block plantings.
Trees planted under the program can be utilised for their timber, either for commercial sales or on-farm uses (firewood, posts etc), however must not be harvested for at least 10 years.
Please note that the NCCMA is defined here for its geographic boundary only. The NCCMA as an organisation is not party to this program.
Information for Landholders on how to get involved
Interested landowners who may be seeking further information before contacting a Registered Project Advisor to discuss a project application can sign up for information and alerts by joining the Victorian Carbon Farming Program mailing list or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.Sign up here
Estimate your property’s carbon sequestration potential!
CSIRO ‘s LOOC-C carbon abatement calculator can help in gaining a quick estimate of the amount of carbon a tree planting project might sequester on a Victorian property.
Landowners can use LOOC-C to select an area of land via a map, and then estimate the total tonnes of carbon abatement (in Australian Carbon Credit Units, or ACCUs) potentially available under a range of methodologies currently endorsed by the Clean Energy Regulator.
The Victorian Government recently partnered with CSIRO to include Plantation and Farm Forestry activities, in addition to the suite of other methods that are endorsed by the Clean Energy Regulator and potentially eligible for funding under the commonwealth government’s Emission Reduction Fund.
Registered Project Advisors will provide expert help to Landholders to:
- understand the potential for their properties to host carbon farming projects and design projects
- establish a Joint Project Agreement
- work with Landowners to develop a project plan which outlines the management approach for a minimum of 10 years.
Once projects have been developed Registered Project Advisors will work with Landowners to:
- understand the contractual obligations of the project
- develop a Joint Project Application(s) for a Victorian Carbon Farming Program Pilot project grant
- submit all documents to the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action on behalf of the Landowner including FullCAM plot files and outputs for each project area, the type and timing of management events, planting, weed control and fertiliser application, and for harvestable plantings, pruning and thinning
- maps and associated spatial data (shapefiles) in accordance with the Mapping Guidelines provided in Appendix 2 of the Project Guidelines.
- georeferenced photos (aerial imagery where possible, or fixed-point images at a minimum)
- a simple cashflow model covering all project expenditure as well as the agreed cost share proportioned between the Registered Project Advisor and Landowner.
All eligible and fully completed Joint Project Applications received by the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action will be assessed by an assessment panel against the assessment criteria set out in the Victorian Carbon Farming Program Pilot Project guidelines.
The assessment panel may make recommendations for offers of grant funding to the Minister for Agriculture and any other relevant ministers or Departmental representative for final consideration.
The decision to offer grant funding is at the absolute discretion of the authorised approver.
The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action will endeavour to notify applicants of the outcome of their grant application in approximately 12 weeks from the time of submitting a completed Joint Project Application.
All applicants will receive a letter confirming the outcome of their Joint Project Application. Feedback by the Department will be offered to unsuccessful applicants.
If the Victorian Carbon Farming Program grant is successful, the Registered Project Advisors will help Landowners to implement and manage their tree-planting projects over 10 years.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Victorian Carbon Farming Program (VCFP) aims to support Victorian Landowners to plant agroforestry and shelterbelt trees on private land to sequester carbon and contribute to the state’s emissions reduction goals, including Victoria’s target to be a net zero emitter of carbon by 2045.
The program acknowledges the challenges Victorian rural Landowners have traditionally faced in accessing carbon markets. Recognising these challenges, the program has been designed so that Victorian Landowners have better access to incentives that support tree growing activities and ultimately deliver new income streams and other on-property benefits.
Beyond an expansion of the private forestry estate, the program also aims to develop private sector capacity to assist Landowners in maximising revenue from carbon, timber or other environmental markets via professional advice and assistance from Project Advisors registered with the program.
The Victorian Carbon Farming Program (VCFP) Pilot is the first phase of the VCFP and is running for 18 months from mid-2023 to late 2024.
The Pilot will test key facets of the program’s design ahead of a broader rollout to other areas of the state scheduled for 2024-25.
Projects approved for VCFP funding within the pilot phase will be contracted for delivery over a 10-year timeframe.
The Victorian Carbon Farming Program (VCFP) Pilot is not prescriptive with respect to tree species or management regime, however tree plantings must align with the objectives of the program.
Projects that elect to establish environmental plantings must demonstrate that the plantings are well integrated into the property, such as in shelterbelts or riparian areas.
Environmental plantings that are not shelterbelts, riparian buffers or other integrated planting types, and have the primary purpose of broad (paddock) scale land conversion for biodiversity benefits, are excluded from the VCFP Pilot. Such projects may be eligible for the Bushbank program.
The Victorian Carbon Farming Program (VCFP) Pilot supports tree planting projects of a scale up to 100 hectares. While there is no defined minimum size for projects, no one planting block within a project can be smaller than 0.2 of a hectare.
Registered Project Advisors (RPAs) to the Victorian Carbon Farming Program (VCFP) Pilot are businesses with sound credentials in delivering tree growing projects. All RPAs registered into the VCFP Pilot have met or exceeded eligibility criteria set by DEECA via the VCFP Pilot Expression of Interest (EOI) process.
RPAs are responsible for:
- identifying Landowners interested in planting and growing trees in the Pilot Area,
- developing grant proposals on behalf of Landowners, and
- implementing, project managing and reporting on approved projects over a 10-year project duration.
RPAs assist Landowners to understand the potential for their properties to host carbon farming projects, and are eligible to a share of the grant funding made available via the project.
RPAs are the principal conduit of plantation development information and support to Landowners, and may seek to aggregate projects with Landowners for landscape scale co-benefits such as scalable carbon credits, payment for ecosystem services, scalable timber production or to build habitat corridors across multiple parcels of private land.
Landowners must commit to retaining project trees funded through the Victorian Carbon Farming Program (VCFP) Pilot for a period of 10 years.
A Landowner must enter a contract with an RPA, and separately with the government, and allow the RPA to periodically access their land to undertake tree management activities and VCFP Pilot reporting requirements.
The meeting of reporting requirements under the VCFP may involve minimal requirements of Landowners such as taking photos of trees. The responsibilities of such obligations should be discussed between the Landowner and their RPA in the first instance.
The Victorian Carbon Farming Program (VCFP) Pilot places no ownership obligation on trees grown or carbon sequestered under the program. Landowners are free to negotiate the sale of timber or carbon assets at their discretion providing the trees remain in the ground for a minimum period of 10 years.
To be eligible to make a Joint Project Application for a VCFP Pilot project grant in concert with a Registered Project Advisor (RPA), Landowners in the North Central Catchment Management Authority region must:
- be the freehold owner of Land. All owners on the title must agree to the conditions of the VCFP Project funding and will be required to co-sign the Landowner Deed of Grant. This requirement does not extend to other eligible interest holders such as mortgagees (banks)
- not have been convicted of an offence against a law of the Commonwealth, a State, or a Territory, where the offence relates to dishonest conduct, fraud, false or misleading statements, information or documents, or the environment
- not have entered a Deed of Grant for a VCFP Project within the last three years
- not have an aggregated annual turnover (per Landowner) exceeding $3 million generated from the Land
- have partnered with their chosen VCFP Registered Project Advisor to develop a Joint Project Agreement and Project Plan.
Projects must be designed to achieve the objectives and outcomes of the Victorian Carbon Farming Program Pilot, and meet all project eligibility requirements:
Environmental plantings that are not shelterbelts, riparian buffers or other integrated planting types, and have the primary purpose of broad (paddock) scale land conversion for biodiversity benefits, are excluded from the Victorian Carbon Farming Program Pilot. Projects like this may be eligible under the BushBank program.
Projects that are registered to receive funding from other Victorian State Government programs for the purposes of tree planting are excluded from applying for project funding under the Victorian Carbon Farming Program Pilot.
Projects seeking funding from the Commonwealth government's Support Plantation Establishment (SPE) program are also excluded.