TREAT Environmental Benefit Fund
Another milestone in TREAT's history
In March 2000, with the approval of the Minister of the Environment & Heritage (Senator Robert Hill), TREAT was entered on the Commonwealth Government's Register of Environmental Organisations. To achieve this, we had to hold a special General Meeting, modify our Constitution and set up a Public Fund.
At the same time that TREAT was entered on the register, our Public Fund – entitled "TREAT Environmental Benefit Fund", was approved by the Assistant Treasurer (Senator Rod Kemp) as a charitable fund. This means that all donations to the fund over the value of $2 are tax deductible and individual donors can claim such donations as charitable gifts in their tax returns.
The Fund is managed by a separate committee which also needed Commonwealth Government approval; this has been set up with three members from the TREAT Management Committee. Our auditor, Eacham Accounting will provide advice to ensure that appropriate standards are maintained as we now have to account to the Government and the public for the way in which we manage the fund.
The Fund opened on 9th March 2000, with a steady flow of donations from members and others, we can now look forward to the day when our projects will progressively be funded from our own resources.
What Happens to Your Donations
The main objective of the Environmental Benefit Fund is to support the environmental objectives of TREAT.
This monetary support has taken on many aspects from supplementing the shortfall of resources necessary to complete planting projects to upgrading administration infrastructure.
In most cases planting projects are funded by various agencies to get the seedlings into the ground. In most cases funding does not include the site maintenance of weeding, fertilising, frost protection and irrigation until the seedlings have matured.
In the tropics maintenance weeding is of vital importance. Some of the rampant vine weed species will soon smother the immature seedling. To control this weed growth TREAT needs to employ a certified contractor to apply herbicide until a canopy has developed thus naturally controlling the weed growth due to lack of sunshine.
With climatic conditions over the past few years TREAT, through the EBF, has been able to offset the consequences of frosts in winter and dry times in the planting seasons by purchasing frost guards and a portable irrigation system. These acquisitions greatly reduced the mortality rate of the seedlings requiring less infill plantings.
Most sites for revegetation are on private landholders' property and it is with their generosity of gifting their land that TREAT is able to continue. As most of these sites follow waterways, TREAT, through EBF, arranges fencing to protect the seedlings and watering points for the land owners' livestock.
In 2015 TREAT is planning to complete the Peterson Creek corridor. Funding has been applied for, and as has happened in the past, from the time of the application till the success of the grant is known, the costing varies considerably.
What to do: We either reduce the size of the planting and rely on funding from the next years applications or we approach the EBF to make up the balance and complete the planting.
Fortunately, with your generous donations, we will be able to call on the TREAT Environmental Benefit Fund to make up the shortfall, as has happened in the past, and complete the Peterson Creek corridor.