The Australian Government’s Wild Otways Initiative is a $6 million investment from the Australian Government’s Environment Restoration Fund to improve conservation outcomes in the Otways region.

The Initiative comprises of six projects, with funds being distributed to support the following areas:

  • Community Environment Grants Program (Investment Stream 1)
  • Five Commissioned Sub-Projects (Investment Stream 2)

The Wild Otways Initiative focuses on projects being undertaken in the areas from Jan Juc/Bells Beach to Peterborough, the Great Otway National Park, and hinterlands, and will be delivered through to June 2023.

The Australian Government’s Wild Otways Initiative is a three-year $6M commitment to achieving on ground outcomes that will improve the protection and management of threatened species in the Otways, Victoria.

In partnership with public and private land managers the Corangamite CMA is delivering cross-tenure, threatened species management research and on-ground programs targeting priority species and their supporting habitat in the Otways.

The Conservation Ecology Centre is leading two of the new projects. A Pig and Deer Program that is focusing on feral pig and deer control to protect native species in the Otway Ranges, Bells Beach (Ironbark Basin) and Great Ocean Road hinterland; and a Fox and Cat Management Program focused on reducing the impacts of fox and cats in planned-burn landscapes to protect threatened species in the Otway Ranges.

Barbara Wilson Pty Ltd, is leading the Phytophthora Management Program, focused on protecting plant and animal biodiversity in the Otway Ranges, Bells Beach (Ironbark Basin) and Great Ocean Road hinterland from ‘dieback caused by the plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi ‘; and the Small Mammal Conservation project that is focused on conserving threatened small mammals in the Otway Ranges, Bells Beach (Ironbark Basin) and Great Ocean Road hinterland.

The fifth project is the development of a Rewilding Program for threatened species in the Otway Ranges. It will be implemented with relevant technical specialists (e.g. Universities, Zoos Victoria, NGOs, consultancies, land management agencies).

In addition to these five projects, the Australian Government’s Wild Otways Initiative includes a $1M Community Environment Grants Program, supporting community driven investment in project to protect and restore native plants, wildlife and coastal environments in the Otways. Read more about the Community Environment Grants Program below.

Five Comissioned Sub Projects:

Deer & Pig Eradication

Fox & Cat Management

Phytophthora Management

Rewilding Species

Small Mammal Conservation

The Community Environment Grants Program

The Community Environment Grants Program being delivered as part of the Wild Otways Initiative is a $1 million investment to support the delivery of projects to protect and restore native plants, wildlife, and coastal environments in the area between Bells Beach to Peterborough, and the Otways hinterland.

The types of projects that will be supported through the program include:

  • Indigenous revegetation and supporting activities (plant propagation and fencing where directly related to and proportional to the benefits of revegetation activities);
  • Weed and pest animal control (except those activities outlined in ‘What will not be funded’ section below)
  • Fencing and access track construction or improvement works that protect or manage environmental values; and
  • Other habitat improvement works.

A total of $1 million is available over the life of the program, with individual grants of between $5,000 to $50,000 per year (ex GST) for up to 2 years duration being available to eligible groups. Please refer to the funding guidelines below for eligibility details.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Australian Government’s Wild Otways Initiative?

The Australian Government’s Wild Otway initiative is a three-year $6m commitment towards threatened species management and pest animal control in the greater Otway’s region. The Initiative includes the delivery of a broad and inclusive environmental community grants program and five commissioned sub-projects, which include pig and deer eradication, fox and cat management, Phytophthora (a plant pathogen) management, small mammal conservation and rewilding in the Otways.

How do I find out more?
Australian Government Wild Otways Initiative website page will be updated regularly with more information when the on-ground works begin. Our CCMA media channels will also be an outlet for project updates. If you would like to receive our regular project Communique please subscribe below to be apart of our distribution below.

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Where is the Initiative being delivered?

The project area for the initiative covers the area from Jan Juc/Bells Beach to Peterborough, and the Great Otway National Park and hinterlands (Otways Region) in South West Victoria.

How long does the Initiative go for?

The initiative will be delivered in the Greater Otways region of Victoria over the next three years to June 2023.

This project is support by the Corangamite CMA, through funding from the Australian Government’s Environment Restoration Fund. This project will run until 2023.