Rural landscape program

The rural landscape program is a joint initiative between South East Local Land Services and WaterNSW (formerly Sydney Catchment Authority).

The program is aimed at providing funding assistance to land managers for a range of land and water management practices. This is achieved by protecting and improving water quality within targeted Sydney drinking water catchment areas.

The program is supported by WaterNSW.

Erosion control practices

Funding is available for a range of on-ground works designed to control gully erosion and stream bed/bank erosion. Project activities may include soil conservation earthworks, streambed and bank protection works, fencing of vulnerable areas, and alternate stock water supply.

Works are generally complemented with the regeneration of existing native vegetation and revegetation. Projects will be subject to an on-site assessment to determine eligibility.

Minimum numbers of stock are required to be eligible for funding.

Riparian management practices

Funding is available for the provision of fencing materials, native trees and shrubs, alternate stock water, stock crossings and minor erosion control activities which will result in the protection and enhancement of native riparian areas. To be eligible for funding all projects must include waterway fencing that controls stock access with a minimum setback average of 10 metres from the top of the bank (this may be varied to deal with geographic constraints).

Minimum numbers of stock are required for a project to be eligible for funding.

Grazing practices

Funding is available for the provision of permanent stock-proof fencing to manage land within its capability with the objective to maintain ground cover. Alternate stock water supplies will be funded where stock water access has been cut off. Each project must influence an area of at least 20 hectares of grazing land. Landholders must have demonstrated capacity to implement grazing management practices to promote long term pasture and soil health.

Eligibility for funding must be demonstrated by completion of training in courses such as LANDSCANTM, PROGRAZETM, or equivalent, or successful participation and achievement in past incentive programs relevant to these objectives.

Participants should also have a property management Plan or demonstrate their commitment to preparing such a plan. Properties which are not running stock are not eligible for funding.

Minimum numbers of stock are required for a project to be eligible for funding.

Further information

South East Local Land Services will provide support to landholders in project development. Landholders will be expected to enter into a 10 year management agreement and will be required to undertake agreed management activities relevant to the funding they receive. All works associated with the project must be completed within an 18 month period. Landowner co-contributions for Riparian and Grazing projects are expected to match the level of public investment through a cash or labour contribution.

Eligibility for incentive projects will be considered based on:

  1. the landholder’s ability to meet any matching criteria for funding provided
  2. any training completed and/or plans prepared that may assist the landholder in overall property management
  3. the landholder’s ability to complete necessary works within an agreed time frame
  4. the landholder’s willingness to maintain and monitor project sites
  5. the value of the projects compared to water quality priorities.

South East Local Land Services is committed to the protection of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage. All project applications are assessed to determine if a known (registered) Aboriginal site is in close proximity to the project site.  In the instances where this occurs, South East Land Services Aboriginal officer will inspect the project site to ensure that the proposed activities do not impact on Aboriginal Cultural Heritage.

Register your interest

Please note that the registration of interest period for the 2022 Rural Landscape program is now CLOSED.

The program will re-open early in 2023. Please visit this webpage or subscribe to the South East Local Land Services newsletter to receive updates.

For further information please speak to the Local Land Services listed under contacts.


Palerang: Andy Taylor, 02 4842 2594

Goulburn/Southern Highlands: Jacqueline Holland, 02 4824 1911.

Helpful resources


What you can do yourself

Learn more about erosion control options and techniques via our erosion management video series

Video 1 – An overview of some of the erosion problems that you may face on your Southern Highlands or Southern Tablelands property

Video 2 - Identifying priorities for erosion control on your property

Video 3 - Managing small scale erosion on your property (Part 1)

Video 4 - Managing small scale erosion on your property (Part 2)

A look back at some past projects:

Related information