Graeme Kirk is extremely proud of his 300 hectares of land at Wollondilly on the south-western outskirts of Sydney, NSW. A keen advocate of the region, Graeme uses his property for grazing sheep and protecting native bushland.
Using the NSW Government's BioBanking Scheme, Graeme continues his sheep grazing while at the same time generating saleable credits by setting aside land to preserve endangered plants, animals and ecosystems on parts of his property that is not suitable for grazing.
Graeme established a biobanking agreement, purchasing 229 credits for $1.7 million. Under the arrangement, Graeme restores and maintains the bushland, while receiving annual payments in perpetuity to fund these activities and to monitor and report on the outcomes.
Using funds from the biobanking management payments, Graeme has established a track to ensure safe access to the biobank site, installed fencing and netted the site to protect it from rabbits and hares. He has also engaged a contractor to drill, poison and spray the weeds on his property over a two year period.
While his focus is on biobanking's conservation values, Graeme acknowledges that the compensation package has helped even out income from the property. Graeme discovered that the biobanking scheme helped keep the broader holding viable by reducing pressure on looking for alternative uses for land with high conservation values.
Image: The road to Mt Hercules biobank site was upgraded so it could be accessed for undertaking management actions including fire management and weed control. Source: OEH.