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Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Page: 7989

Environment


Mr ADAMS (Lyons) (14:50): My question is to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Will the minister update the House on environmental programs the government is delivering to address the threat of climate change, what on-the-ground work is happening right now as a result of those programs and how have they been received in the community?


Mr BURKE (WatsonMinister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities) (14:51): I want to thank the member for Lyons for drawing attention to the inclusion within the clean energy future package of the Biodiversity Fund. The Biodiversity Fund amounts to just under $1 billion over six years; the first round of that was settled some months ago and those projects are now off and running throughout the country. There was $271 million committed in the first round over six years and there were 313 projects throughout the country.

In the electorate of Lyons, if we go just to that one area in Tasmania, there are projects such as $2.2 million for a partnership of local community groups providing revegetation and connectivity in that sort of land care work that has been passionately held for so long. The concept of corridors is one that a number of groups throughout that part of Tasmania have got behind, and the member for Lyons has been helpful in making sure that the Southern Midlands Council and the northern Tasmanian natural resource management bodies are there working with farmers through land care projects, and also acknowledging some of the shifts that have happened in that part of Tasmania where, increasingly, there are significant landholdings being used as lifestyle properties rather than for productive use to make sure that that same sort of land care work can be continuing on those properties. So the member for Lyons can proudly say that those projects are happening in his electorate. He voted for them when he voted for the clean energy future package. He is now making sure that they are happening on the ground and, just as he voted for them and delivered for Tasmania, so too are there projects in other parts of Australia, where the local members voted against them and are promising at the next election that they want to see them abolished.

We go from one end of the country in the southernmost part of Tasmania to the northernmost parts of Australia, to the electorate of Leichhardt. There are $12.3 million of projects in the electorate of Leichhardt that were part of the first round alone of the Biodiversity Fund, which the member for Leichhardt voted against. There were $12 million worth of projects in the Far North which the member for Leichhardt will take to the next election with a promise to abolish. These are projects such as the $3.6 million for the traditional owners of the Wik and Kugu areas of their lands to be involved in management of their parts of the Far North. There is the $2.8 million to Balkanu for Indigenous rangers in Hope Vale, something which the Leader of the Opposition should be somewhat aware of, in that his party goes to the next election promising to abolish that funding. There is Rainforest Rescue. Why is it any surprise that they are promising to abolish funding for the Daintree? They opposed the World Heritage listing of the Daintree all those years ago. And now the biodiversity work being done on the ground as part of the clean energy future package, they have voted against project by project, each and every one of them, and they go to the next election promising to abolish them.