The Victorian community benefits greatly from the biodiverse riches on private land, with some threatened species found largely – or only – on private land.
Land Covenantors Victoria was founded on the belief that covenanting should therefore be recognised by local, state and federal government bodies as a legitimate path to conservation action.
By supporting landholders with conservation covenants and ensuring the right incentives and tax arrangements are in place, we believe more Victorians will follow this path. We seek to learn from the Traditional Owners on how to steward the land and better preserve the cultural, landscape and recreational values of the land for future generations.
Since the early 1970s, Victorians have been entering into perpetual covenants with Trust for Nature and other organisations to ensure the land they have loved and restored is protected in perpetuity.
More than 1,900 landholders have adopted conservation covenants in Victoria. However, until recently there was no formal network to bring these covenantors together to share knowledge, support each other or advocate for better tax and other incentives.
With the support of the Rendere Trust in 2021, a group of ‘first wave’ land covenantors formed Land Covenantors Victoria as an Incorporated Association to achieve these goals and raise the profile of private land conservation.
Victoria is a place where it is normal for private landholders to adopt a conservation covenant to protect biodiversity, and the benefit to the natural world and future generations is widely understood by all.
Through inclusive and diverse collaboration, give a voice to members, enable effective management of covenanted properties and grow the profile of private land conservation.
Our agenda and advocacy
LCV strives for greater recognition of the value of private land for conservation and an increase of the allocation of resources directed to conservation.
LCV recognises that the ongoing costs of managing a conservation property are generally borne by the landholder. This can be a barrier to a greater uptake of conservation covenants. We advocate for increased financial support – whether in the form of incentives, concessions or funding, for managers of covenanted land to encourage effective land stewardship now and into the future.
In particular, LCV wants to see the consistent application of rate rebates by local councils, exemption from land taxes for covenanted properties and greater access to ecosystem service incentive payments; for example voluntary biodiversity offset markets.
We’re also encouraging more resources to be devoted to stewardship programs. Trust for Nature offers a stewardship program that aims to provide a range of support services to covenant landholders, including practical management advice, technical assistance, education, monitoring and financial assistance. These on-ground services make a tangible impact on conservation outcomes and should be enhanced.
On-ground stewardship can engage future generations in the management of covenanted land, resulting in rewarding employment opportunities. We want to support the next generation of conservationists through our work.
LCV also encourages philanthropic and corporate investment into the creation of more privately-managed bushland reserves, following the example of Bank Australia’s conservation reserve.
Land Covenantors Victoria acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Victoria and their deep connections to land, water and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
LCV is a Registered Charity. ABN: 28727715232