What is EcoTender?

EcoTender was a conservation auction process that compared the value of management actions across different sites for  water quality, erosion, carbon and native vegetation improvements.

Landholders were invited to tender contracts to deliver multiple environmental benefits, primarily by means of improved native vegetation management and revegetation works on their properties.

EcoTender is no longer open to expressions of interest, but there are two programs still running, namely Port Phillip Western Port and West Gippsland.

Successful bids included activities offering the best value for money to the community, based on ecosystem outcomes, the significance of the environmental assets affected by these changes and the cost. Successful landholders receive periodic payments as they deliver the management actions under contractual agreements with the Department.

The Department has completed three demonstration EcoTender programs across Victoria to refine project management methodology, improve underlying science and to develop EnSym's practical application.

Now the Department uses this experience to support environmental tenders that are being implemented by regional organisations such as Catchment Authorities and Landcare Networks. These partnerships allow the Department to draw together information from across the state to further improve the tender process as well as increase the understanding of environmental markets. Importantly, these relationships ensure regional implementation of tenders is best-practice and environmental investment of public funds is cost-effective.

What actions are encouraged?

Under EcoTender and other environmental tenders, successful landholders are paid to manage their land and water resources in ways that provide environmental improvements.

Actions may include:

  • weed and pest control
  • fencing and planting of native vegetation
  • protection of gullies and wetlands
  • and stock control.How are economic principles incorporated?

EcoTender and other environmental tenders that have followed use a process that ensures the Victorian Government gets good value for money from public funds by running an auction of conservation contracts. 

Landholders are required to think about what actions they might be willing to undertake, how much it would cost and what they need to be paid to complete those actions when they offer a bid.The Department considers those bids and the environmental benefit that arises from management activities, and identifies those landholders that can provide environmental outcomes at low cost.