Natural Capital

Burnett Mary Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot

Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship

The Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot [hyperlink] (the Pilot) is a component of the Australian Government’s $34 million Agriculture Stewardship Package [hyperlink], which has been developed in partnership with the Australian National University [hyperlink] (ANU).

The Pilot will trial a market-based mechanism that will reward participating farmers for improving environmental outcomes on agricultural land. Through the Pilot, farmers will establish biodiverse environmental plantings between 5-200 hectares on-farm and will be rewarded for increasing on-farm biodiversity and carbon abatement.

Participants who establish and maintain biodiverse environmental plantings in accordance with the C+B planting protocol [hyperlink] will be eligible to receive payments for biodiversity outcomes. They will also be able to receive Australian Carbon Credit Units [hyperlink ERF ACCU’s section] (ACCUs) for the carbon sequestered in the plantings under the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund [hyperlink] (ERF). Participants will be able to sell the ACCUs to the Australian Government or other buyers, which would provide an additional source of revenue for the projects.

Farmers are required to protect and maintain the credited carbon stocks (plantings) for a minimum of 25 years, consistent with the ERF guidelines.  

Who is running the Pilot?

The Burnett Mary Regional Group [hyperlink] (BMRG) will be facilitating the delivery of the Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot with farmers in the Burnett Mary region.

If you are interested in submitting an expression of interest through the Agriculture Stewardship Portal, BMRG can assist you with:

  • Localised information on the Burnett Mary Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot
  • Discussing and identifying potential project area/s
  • Regional ecosystem information to identify land types and vegetation classifications
  • Proposal development

Before applying, you must read and understand the Agriculture Stewardship Program Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot Guidelines [hyperlink].

BMRG recommends that you seek independent professional advice about your participation in this pilot, particularly financial, legal, and agronomic.

How does it work?

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Who can apply?

Farmers in the Burnett Mary region who predominantly use their freehold land for agricultural purposes.

To be eligible, you must also satisfy additional requirements outlined in the Agriculture Stewardship Program Guidelines [hyperlink to page 14].

Eligible projects

To be eligible, your project must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. All planting areas associated with a project must be located within the same pilot region.
  2. Projects must cover an area of between 5 and 200 hectares.
  3. The environmental plantings must be carried out in accordance with the C+B planting protocol and be planted at a minimum density of 400 stems per hectare.
  4. Projects must not receive financial or other support for the establishment of the plantings under another federal, state/territory or local government environment program.

You cannot submit more than three applications in total. If you submit more than three applications, on the first three will be considered.

For more information, see the requirements for the ERF environmental planting method [hyperlink] guide.

To apply you must
Complete the application through the web portal accessed at
Applications open: 12th April 2021
Applications close: 11th June 2021

Questions regarding the application portal should be directed to the Agriculture Stewardship Program by email at: or via phone at 1800 900 090.

You must submit an application via the web portal between the published opening and closing dates. Late applications will not be assessed but can be considered for future rounds of the pilot should sufficient funds remain.

More details on the activity timeframes once project applications are submitted can be found here [page 20 of guidelines].

Payment schedule

The project payment schedule for projects recognises that most costs associated with environmental plantings are incurred upfront. Biodiversity payments under the C+B Pilot will be made over the first 3 years of the project, dependent on when the option to initiate the project is exercised. All payments will be contingent on satisfying prescribed project milestones.

Payment for the carbon abatement will be based on ERF payment protocols [hyperlink].

More information

For more information on the Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot please visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s). [hyperlink]

BMRG Contacts:

Nick Maclean
Natural Capital Ecosystems Manager
(07) 4181 2999

Emma Baker
Natural Capital Ecosystems Project Officer
(07) 4181 2999