A plan to restore landscapes and support regional economic recovery

More than 100 conservation, farming and land management organisations have come together to support Working with Nature, a proposal for thousands of workers to be employed to deliver practical conservation and land management work across the country.

This initiative presents an opportunity to deliver targeted economic recovery support to regional communities while leaving lasting benefits for the environment, tourism, farm businesses and local communities.

Find out more


Working With Nature would provide a pathway from welfare to work for thousands of people, including unskilled workers and young people at risk of long-term unemployment, at a substantially lower cost than large-scale infrastructure programs.  

This investment would deliver timely, targeted and temporary support for unemployed workers and can be scaled as needed to meet the needs of regional communities, in the context of broader federal and state economic recovery priorities.  

For workers, this program would provide an income, the dignity of work, new skills, mental health benefits and the opportunity to contribute to the resilience and long-term productivity of our land, rivers, oceans and farming landscapes.

Learn more about job creation


Jobs can be created quickly, undertaking practical activities like weed management, soil erosion control, tree planting, bushfire recovery, restoration of bushland, rivers and creeks, feral animal control, fence construction and restoration of coastal and marine habitats.

Together, these activities will reduce the impact of key environmental threats, deliver large scale improvements in the condition of key environmental assets, enhance landscape resilience and support long-term agricultural productivity.

Learn more about environmental benefits


Expert analysis by Ernst & Young found that a $500 million investment in a conservation and land management employment program would create 6,690 full time jobs and deliver more than $1.2 billion in long-term economic benefits.

This analysis highlights the profound social and economic benefits of moving people off welfare and into work, as well as opportunities to highlight long-term agricultural productivity by reducing costs, increasing the capacity of the land, improving the health of waterways and enhancing disaster resilience.

Learn more about economic analysis
Typical Australian Farmer by his farm dam, holding water for the harsh summers. Dealing with droughts and bush fire season.

 “Australians are overwhelmingly supportive of COVID-recovery initiatives that can keep people in work while also helping damaged landscapes recover."

Jim Adams CEO, National Landcare Network


Conservation and land management stimulus spending is widely supported by a nation reeling from the impacts of drought, bushfires and COVID-19. 

Polling undertaken in 2020 found that 83 per cent of Australians support large scale investment in practical conservation work, ranking it second out of twelve potential economic recovery measures.

Learn more about public attitudes


Over the past year, governments in Australia and overseas have rolled out large-scale economic stimulus packages, including a number of conservation and land management employment programs.

These early initiatives provide a foundation for a more ambitious national program in Australia.

Learn more about work already in progress
Person planting a tree

 “This program could deliver meaningful gains in agricultural productivity, by reducing costs, improving the condition of soil, water and native vegetation and enhancing resilience to natural disasters."

Kate Andrews CEO, NRM Regions Australia