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$3 million for Dandenong Ranges

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Joint Media Release

The Hon Greg Hunt MP Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage

Friday 30 August 2013

$3 million for Dandenong Ranges

A Federal Coalition Government, if elected, will deliver $3 million for a major environmental investment in the Dandenong Ranges to reduce the bushfire risk and support local tourism.

The Dandenong Ranges comprise some of Australia’s finest bush and cultural heritage. They combine natural beauty with one of the highest fire risks faced by a significant residential population anywhere in Australia.

In particular, the fire danger is exacerbated by the presence of heavy weed populations and fuel overloads.

“The Coalition will allocate $3 million for the Dandenong Ranges community for three projects which will protect, care for and improve the local environment, as well as provide new tourism opportunities for this important part of Victoria,” Mr Hunt said.

The three projects to be funded are:

1. $2.4 million for Bushfire Fuel Reduction and Weed Eradication Control Project; 2. $450,000 for Elimination of Wandering Trad Noxious Weed Project; and 3. $150,000 for Bullen-Bullen Bush Tours Project.

Mr Hunt said the three projects would contribute to fuel reduction and weed eradication, protect native fauna and flora, and in particular allow local community groups to target the noxious weed problems in the Dandenongs.

Liberal candidate for La Trobe, Jason Wood, said he has been working with communities in the Dandenong Ranges on fire safety and rehabilitation issues for many years.

“For communities living in the Dandenong Ranges the threat of bush fires is something that locals have to deal with every year,” Mr Wood said.

“This initiative will make the Dandenong Ranges less susceptible to bush fire and allow native flora and fauna to grow and flourish.”

The work of the Bullen-Bullen Bush Tours in teaching people about the native environment flora and fauna is unique to the Dandenongs.

This education, provided to both local students and tourists, educates the community about the importance and caring for this environment. This funding will ensure they can continue their valuable work.

Media contact: Wendy Black 0418 532 534