The research found that while conservation factors are important, financial and social factors are also highly influential in property selection. Of particular concern to managers is resale – making sure the property is able to be resold, at a price that replenishes the fund. To increase the prospect for resale, managers often look for properties where the new owners could construct a dwelling.
In the decision-making process, practitioners must trade-off between conservation, financial, amenity, and other factors, and in doing so, face some tricky challenges: recovering the costs of property acquisition, protection, resale, and of course meeting conservation goals.
The researchers suggest the above complexities may constrain the application of revolving fund programs, but also find that managers have developed some constructive responses to these challenges. The paper outlines some of these strategies - such as regularly assessing what the buyers of these properties are looking for, and ensuring covenants provide an appropriate balance between conservation, amenity and recreation values (without endangering ecological assets).
A revolving fund property up for sale in rural Victoria, Australia. Photo: Mat Hardy.
As each of the revolving fund programs operate in similar ways, the researchers suggest that a shared‐learning approach could assist managers in property selection. Managers could use their collective experience to work through these complexities and continually improve property selection.
Whilst the need for property resale means revolving funds are unlikely to be appropriate in all situations, the ability to recover costs suggests this tool is a useful part of the conservation policy mix. Shedding light on which properties are suitable will help improve the performance of this unique approach to conservation.
Mathew J. Hardy, James A. Fitzsimons, Sarah A. Bekessy, Ascelin Gordon
RMIT PhD candidate Mat Hardy
For for information: Mathew Hardy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Media: CEED Communications, Casey Fung, +61 433 638 643, email@example.com