Businesses, including farm foresters, can apply to both the Support Plantation Establishment program and the Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) Scheme
The Australian Government’s $73.8 million Support Plantation Establishment program will provide grant funding over 4 years to support the establishment of new long-rotation softwood and hardwood plantation forests of at least 20 hectares.
New plantations under the Support Plantation Establishment program may also be eligible to earn Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs). The ACCU Scheme, formerly called the Emissions Reduction Fund, offers landholders, communities and businesses the opportunity to run projects in Australia that avoid the release of greenhouse gas emissions or remove and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.
Several activities are eligible under the scheme and participants can earn ACCUs. Each ACCU represents one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2-e) emissions stored or avoided by a project.
ACCUs can be sold to generate income, either to the Australian Government through a carbon abatement contract, or to companies and other private buyers in the secondary market. ACCUs may also be retained by the proponent for future sale or for their own offset needs.
If Support Plantation Establishment program applicants are also interested in undertaking an ACCU Scheme project in conjunction with a Support Plantation Establishment project, applicants will need to have the ACCU Scheme Plantation Forestry project declared (approved) by the Clean Energy Regulator before applying to the Support Plantation Establishment program. Project registration under the ACCU Scheme can be conditional on all regulatory approvals and eligible interest holder consents being obtained.
While ACCU scheme registration is not a pre-requisite to meet Support Plantation Establishment Program eligibility requirements, new plantations will not be able to register as an ACCU scheme project if they have already applied to the Support Plantation Establishment program.
The minimum grant available through the SPE program is $40,000, and applicants are required to provide a co-contribution at least equal to the grant amount.
Grant funding can be used for:
- the preparation of the plantation forest site
- the purchase and planting of seedlings
- the payment of labour and contract planting fees.
The Australian Government will provide $2,000 (GST exclusive) per 1 hectare of new plantation forest established.
Grants will range from 12 months to a maximum of 4 years. Grantees must complete their project by 30 June 2027.
Applications for the second batch of the initial grant round close on 25 October 2023.
Applications for the third batch of the initial grant round close on 24 January 2024.
Further details can be found in the Grant Opportunity Guidelines, available on GrantConnect.