The Desert Uplands Build-up and Development Strategy Committee (DUBDSC) ran the Advancing On-Ground Nature Conservation (AOGNC) program for eight years, and a huge success. Funding for the many rounds of this program came mainly come from National Heritage Trust through the three Regional Bodies that the Desert Uplands transects, being Desert Channels Qld (DCQ), NQ Dry Tropics NRM (NQDT) and Southern Gulf Catchments (SGC), and a small amount from QANTAS.

The program provided funds to landholders for on-ground works that will actively protect, restore or assist with better land management, native vegetation and waterways and enhance available habitats.

Examples of works include:

  • Fencing – to restrict stock access and allow strategic spelling of fragile areas and soil types.
  • Stock watering points – installation or relocation of watering points to decrease stock impacts on riparian areas, wetlands or springs.
  • Weed and pest control – including burning to reduce woody tree or weed thickening.
  • Other infrastructure or works that maintain or enhance the natural values of an area.                                                                               

From 1999 – 2007, 110 projects were funded which equates to approximately $1,170,000 being spent on ground. Funded landholders contributed at least 50% to the project costs, with the average being around 60% in monetary value. This equates to over $3 million, including in-kind landholder contribution, being spent over these eight years on Desert Uplands grazing properties.

The DUBDSC has also been success in running on-ground works through the National Landcare Program (NLP) and Envirofund. A total of 37 projects have been successful with $765,000 being spent on on-ground works.

Over 35% of landholders in the Desert Uplands applied to participate in these conservation projects, with DUBDSC managing a total of 147 on-ground projects and devolved over $1,935,000. Including landholder contributions, that equated to $4.2 million spent in conservation work through these planned, strategic works on property.