Programs and initiatives

Inspiring Environmental Solutions community funding program


EPA has reviewed its Inspiring Environmental Solutions (IES) community funding program to incorporate the recommendations of the Compliance and Enforcement Review.

EPA has also made it simpler for groups to apply. Registration is open all year, and applicants must first complete a registration form (Word 991KB) before being considered. Please refer to the Inspiring Environmental Solutions – EPA’s community funding program: program guidelines (Publication 1419) before completing the registration form.

Funding for the IES program is sourced through a legislative scheme where ‘the polluter pays’. Under the Section 67AC of the Environment Protection Act 1970, or through other remedy and sanctioning tools, a company or individual found guilty of environmental pollution may be directed by a court to fund a community environmental project instead of, or in addition to, paying a fine. This is how funding for the IES program is sourced.

The total pool of funding on offer will vary each year, as funding is contingent upon the successful prosecution of pollution incidents, and at the discretion of the court. EPA cannot guarantee that groups registered will be invited to develop a project and be funded within any one year.


What sorts of projects have been funded lately?

April 2013: Enhancing Wangaratta’s Treescapes and Waterways
Rural City of Wangaratta – $160,000

The Rural City of Wangaratta will, in partnership with Wangaratta Urban Landcare Group, Wangaratta Sustainability Network, Restore our Waterways, North East Catchment Management Authority, Ovens Landcare Network and Park Lane Nursery, enhance the environment affected by the pollution incident in a key streetscape of Sisely Avenue and at Wareena Park, in Wangaratta. These improvements will reclaim and improve the environment of this area for local residents’ enjoyment. Events throughout the project will engage residents with the local environment to appreciate and enjoy the environmental values in this area.

April 2013: Portland Community Garden
Portland Community Garden Landcare Group – $80,000

This project aims to develop a large community garden on the old Portland High School site. The garden will include an indigenous garden, community vegetable garden, an interpretive walk, orchard, nursery, an education shelter, men’s shed, cooking area, small wood plantation and native plants section. Vegetable plots will be available for community members. Support from the indigenous community will help establish a meandering interpretive walk around the site, featuring native plants used as a food source.

November 2012: Afton Street Reserve Habitat Enhancement
Moonee Valley City Council – $75,000

This project focuses on improving the conservation values of Afton Street Reserve’s high-priority vegetation patches by eradicating weeds, including boxthorn, Chilean needle grass, serrated tussock, thistles and St John’s wort. The project also involves the establishment of a wildflower-rich patch of native grassland, alonfg with community education and guided tours. Friends of Afton Street Reserve, Friends of Maribyrnong Valley and Conservation Volunteers Australia are partners in this project and will be involved in the various weeding, planting and seeding activities.

November 2012: Morang Wetlands Habitat Restoration and Amphibian Monitoring Project
Parks Victoria – $50,000

The purpose of this project is to improve the aquatic environment at the Morang wetlands through the planting of aquatic and terrestrial flora, droughtproofing quarry wetlands, controlling pest plants and animals and establishing a water quality monitoring regime. This project also explores options to reintroduce the Growling Grass Frog in collaboration with experts from the University of Melbourne. Another focus of the project is to secure expert specialist technical advice and assistance to The Friends of the Gorge, and to finance water quality training for the community and local schoolchildren by Healthy Waterways Waterwatch and Darebin Creek Management Committee personnel. The project will be coordinated by Park Victoria and co-delivered with The Friends of the Gorge.

October 2012: Bay Care Action and Awareness Project
Port Phillip EcoCentre – $150,000

The purpose of this project is to recruit, coordinate and train volunteer guides to manage and educate visitors to the St Kilda penguin colony. The project will also support the expansion of a litter reduction project from St Kilda to other Bayside areas with the City of Hobsons Bay, Bayside City Council and Wyndham City Council municipalities. The third aspect of this project focuses on educating students and the general public about penguins and the Bay’s natural values, using a mobile interpretive display to be deployed at schools and other public places. The project will be coordinated by Port Phillip EcoCentre and co-delivered with EarthCare St Kilda, Parks Victoria, Western Melbourne Catchment Network and Ricketts Point Marine Care.

September 2012: Protection and Restoration of Cherry Creek Grassland
Western Melbourne Catchment Network – $40,000

This project involves the protection and restoration of three hectares of grassland adjacent to Cherry Creek in Altona. This includes rabbit-proofing the area (fence), weed and access control, and signage. Some vegetation will be reintroduced through direct seeding. Seedlings, propagated by students from a nearby high school, will also be planted. Grassland walks will be held to educate community and foster engagement with the area. Key partners in this project include TreeProject, Hobsons Bay Council, Friends of Williamstown Wetlands and Friends of Cherry Lake.

April 2012: Yarra (Birrarung) Plume Bay Care Project
Port Phillip EcoCentre – $100,000

The project will deliver eight community ‘Bay Care’ events to engage local St Kilda and bayside suburb residents. These events will increase the communities’ awareness of catchment pollution and grow participation in practical environmental protection such as litter collections, oil spill reporting and response training and monitoring of local marine species and water quality. The project also involves preparation and delivery of educational programs, and publications. Participants will be exposed to the cultural perspective of the traditional owners to gain a more holistic appreciation of the natural environment and how it is impacted by human behaviour and social structures. The project will be coordinated by Port Phillip EcoCentre, and co-delivered with Rickets Point Marine Care, Earthcare St Kilda, Jawbone Marine Sanctuary Care Group and Boon wurrung Foundation.

June 2011: Sustainability fellowship program
Gippsland Climate Change Network (GCCN) – $75,000

The GCCN will develop and implement a sustainability fellowship program for 40 participants from the community, business and government sectors across Gippsland’s six municipalities. GCCN will work with their diverse membership to develop and deliver this program with locally based content, aimed at building the capacity of the region through education. An action research approach will be used to assist participants to identify and address regional sustainability issues over a 12-month period. Key project partners include the Institute for Sustainable Management, locally based TAFEs, local sustainability networks and local governments.

April 2011: Pilot raingarden project
Darebin Creek Management Committee – $50,000

This project is a pilot program to fund 70 domestic raingardens in the Darebin Creek catchment. Raingardens treat stormwater by simply filtering out pollutants and reducing the rate of stormwater influx into streams and can reduce suspended solids by 80 per cent. Households will contribute labour and funds through an incentive scheme and will maintain the raingardens for an agreed period.

March 2011: Creek Experience Centre and healthy creeks education program
Darebin Creek Management Committee – $50,000

DCMC aims to enhance its environmental eduction program throughout the Darebin Creek catchment. This program reaches more than 65 schools located within the catchment, with 4500 students educated in 2010, focusing on water health. It builds student capacity and knowledge, and research demonstrates the parents of children involved in the programs are more aware of local environmental conditions. Students learn about the impact that humans have on stormwater and how they can make a difference to water quality in their everyday activities. In order to enhance the program and make it less weather dependent, DCMC plan to purchase equipment for their new, purpose-built Creek Experience Centre, enabling delivery of their education services through all seasons of the school year.

December 2010: Federation trail park
Brooklyn Residents Action Group – $50,000

This project develops a green open space area for use by the local community. It will include tree planting and the installation of picnic facilities, culminating with a community planting day and celebration. The project aims to develop greater connections between the community and residents to their local environment.

September 2010: Green business code of practice
Murrindindi Climate Network (MCN) – $64,800

MCN and the Murrindindi Shire Council will team up with the established business community of Yea and the bushfire-ravaged Marysville/Triangle community to deliver improved environmental performance of small and medium sized businesses in the tourism, retail and services sector. Using a bottom-up approach, partnering with the EcoBuy Green procurement program and the Moreland Energy Foundation’s Zero carbon business program, this regional project will develop a voluntary Green code of practice.

September 2010: Murrindindi Discover-E Centre
Yea Wetlands Trust – $60,000

Yea Wetlands Trust is developing an interpretive education centre at Yea Wetlands. A centrepiece of this attraction will be an engaging interpretative display that sets the vibe and attracts the interest of the Centre’s anticipated 12,000 annual visitors, encouraging them to learn more about scarce water resources and put into practice measures that protect, share and use water in more sustainable ways.

August 2010: Circling the lake
Darebin City Council – $100,000

This project implements actions identified in the Edwardes Lake, Our lake neighbourhood environment improvement plan (NEIP). The lake is a local hub for residents of  Reservoir and surrounds, attracting diverse multicultural visitors. Activities include community planting days to revegetate the western side of the lake, installing lighting to improve safety and accessibility of the lake area, a water pollution community education program, drain stencilling and educational signage.

July 2010: Re-connecting Melburnians with the Yarra River
Yarra Riverkeeper Association – $25,000

This project reconnects Melburnians with the river following the adage that ‘people protect what they love’. The Yarra Riverkeeper Association Inc will run a series of 50 educational events, including river tours and illustrated presentations targeted at schools, tertiary institutions, businesses, councils and community groups.

April 2010: Pathways to a sustainable low CO2 future
Mount Alexander Sustainability Group – $60,000

This project works with Mt Alexander Shire residents to reduce household resource use. It specifically delivers education materials on environmental awareness and low-CO2 living, preprogram audit and action plans for all participants, practical assistance via training sessions and follow-up assessment and evaluation after six months. http://masg.org.au

February 2010: Yarra platypus count
Australian Platypus Conservancy – $55,000

This project is a systematic, community-based platypus monitoring program for the Yarra River directed by leading platypus biologist Dr Melody Serena. Community participation includes a mix of river users, local councils, and schools and community groups. Data collected will be analysed and shared with agencies and community groups encouraging platypus to re-establish where they have declined or disappeared. http://www.platypus.asn.au

February 2010: Community education program
Darebin Creek Management Committee – $25,000

This project will enable DCMC to purchase a portable classroom and assist schools to design and create habitat gardens along the Darebin Creek. The portable classroom will provide much needed shelter from extreme weather, allowing DCMC to extend this already successful program more frequently to more groups. http://www.dcmc.org.au

For more information on Inspiring Environmental Solution please contact us.

Page last updated on 10 Aug 2016