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Landholder partnerships

Discover how you can help to protect and restore our city’s natural environment.

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Voluntary Conservation Agreements

Voluntary Conservation Agreements Sign

Photo by Julius Bergh

Voluntary Conservation Agreements (VCAs) are one of the schemes offered through the City’s Conservation Partnerships Program. VCAs are designed to support landholders who want to permanently protect and actively improve their property’s native habitat.

What is a VCA?

A VCA is a legally binding agreement between a landholder and the City that permanently protects the natural values of a designated area of a property. The protection can come from either a Nature Refuge or covenant and the area designated for protection will be rezoned to ‘Conservation’ under the City Plan.

When applying for a VCA, the landholder chooses the area they’d like to permanently protect for conservation. Landholders with a VCA retain full control of their land and the right to enjoy it, and no one can enter the property without permission.

Support for landholders with a VCA

The City provides VCA landholders with the following support to recognise their commitment and contribution to the protection of the city’s wildlife, and to assist them with improving the conservation area’s natural values.

  • A 50–95% rate donation – determined by how much of the property is protected
  • A $7,000 incentive payment – paid when the VCA is executed, used as seed funding for the first year’s round of on-ground management and reimbursed at the end of financial year
  • Up to $7,000 annual management assistance – used to engage contractors and carry out approved management activities in the conservation area, e.g. ecological restoration
  • Tailored advice – including annual property visits, vegetation assessments and management plans, to guide the conservation area’s management
  • Ongoing support – with additional benefits offered through the City’s Land for Wildlife scheme

Eligibility and how to apply for a VCA

To be eligible for a VCA, a property must have significant natural values and be of adequate size. To find out if your property is eligible and learn more about the VCA scheme, contact a Conservation Partnerships Officer on or 07 5582 8834.

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