Rural land program

The Rural Land Program provides assistance and funding opportunities for landholders to undertake works that will keep soil and nutrients on their farm and out of waterways.

Farmer and MW staff walking along country road

The program has been designed to help landholders improve on-farm management practices through financial and technical assistance. Benefits include increased productivity for the property owner and improved waterway health for the broader community.

The Rural Land Program is about improving the management of water sensitive areas such as:

  • waterways
  • drains
  • dams
  • wetlands
  • gullies
  • seeps
  • soaks springs
  • low-lying and seasonally wet areas.

Who can apply

The Rural Land Program is available to landholders who own or manage rural land in these catchments:

  • Woori Yallock, Olinda Creek, Yering, Hoddles Creek, Yarra River (Upper and Middle), Little Yarra, Diamond Creek (Source and Rural), Watts River,Watsons Creek, Plenty River (Source and Upper), Steels and Pauls Creek

  • Jacksons Creek, Upper Deep Creek, Upper and Middle Werribee, Emu Creek, Boyd Creek, Upper Little River and Lerderderg River

  • Bass, Lang Lang, Bunyip and Tarago Rivers, Cardinia, Toomuc, Deep and Ararat Creeks, Watsons Creek on the Mornington Peninsula and Mornington Peninsula South Eastern Creeks.

Priority works and experience

Preference will be given to landholders who have shown a commitment to protecting water sensitive areas on their properties through best management practices such as stock exclusion, revegetation and nutrient management plans.​

We also give preference to landholders who have demonstrated property management planning principles. This may include planning and management for the whole farm, or more specifically:

  • native vegetation

  • pasture and soil health

  • nutrients

  • farm tracks

  • erosion

  • irrigation scheduling

  • off-stream water supply

  • surface water/drainage management

How to apply

Download and complete the application form and email it to us on the address below: 

Applicants can continue to apply for funding through the Rural Land Program until late 2021.
The Rural Land Program will be transitioned into the Liveable Communities, Liveable Waterways Program in late 2021.
All activities eligible under the Rural Land Program will also be eligible under the Liveable Communities, Liveable Waterways Program.
We will provide more information to support you with this transition closer to the time.

Assistance available

We will pay up to 50% of the cost, including labour and materials, of a broad range of activities designed to improve the quality of the water leaving rural properties.

Funded activities include:

  • fencing off and managing streams, drainage lines and other water-sensitive areas

  • sediment and nutrient retention systems

  • managing native vegetation and grass filter systems in riparian areas and drainage lines

  • establishing shade and shelter for livestock

  • stock laneway construction, improvement and drainage

  • erosion stabilisation and protection

Assistance is also available for:

  • educational needs (such as developing whole farm plans, chemical use certification and soil testing)

  • workshops to landholder groups e.g. managing horses on small properties

  • technical advice

Assessing your application

We will send you an acknowledgment when we receive your completed application form. We may then contact you to discuss your application and to arrange a site assessment of your property. The site assessment enables us to assist you in developing a plan for your property.

Further reading

Last updated:
23 December 2020