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$13.8 million to sustain the Tasmanian environment.



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BACK Home | Media Releases DAFF06/072AJ - 6 July 2006

Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation - Senator Eric Abetz Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage - Senator Ian Campbell Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water - David Llewellyn

$13.8 million to sustain the Tasmanian environment

On-ground activities to protect threatened species, improve water quality and develop more sustainable farming practices are set to intensify with the injection of almost $14 million in Government funding.

The $13.8 million funding package for the North, South and Cradle Coast natural resource management regions, provided though the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality, was announced today by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments.

Australian Government spokesperson Senator Richard Colbeck said the additional funding was on top of the $18.9 million announced last year for Tasmania, which is now supporting extensive on-ground work to improve the condition of threatened species, priority waterways, riverbanks and native vegetation.

“In southern Tasmania alone, there are 26 animal and 57 plant species threatened with extinction,” Senator Colbeck said.

“We are providing a further $750,000 to NRM South’s Flora and Fauna programme to fund activities that will help many of those species survive, including implementing recovery plans for threatened raptors like the wedge-tailed eagle, grey goshawk and the white-breasted sea eagle.

“We are also investing in the recovery of hollow-nesting birds, such as the endangered masked owl, by identifying and protecting old-growth trees that provide vital nesting sites.

“Native eucalypts take roughly 100 years to form hollows that birds use for nesting, so it’s vital that we protect these trees now.”

Senator Colbeck said this funding would also see the development of a management plan for the Lower Ringarooma Flood Plain Ramsar Wetland.

“The Lower Ringarooma Flood Plain is internationally recognised as a unique habitat for several plant species that are rare or vulnerable, such as purple loosestrife and native gypswort, which was thought to be extinct in Tasmania.

“This special place, which provides a rich habitat for aquatic fauna such as rare galaxis fish, as well as an abundance of birdlife, will be protected with a plan that maps out and implements appropriate methods for protecting its many unique features.” Senator Colbeck, speaking at a special event at Barilla Bay in the Pitt Water-Orielton Lagoon, said the $2.9 million received by NRM South would help landholders in the region develop more sustainable agricultural practices.

“This additional funding will support Tasmania’s agricultural industries with the introduction of more sustainable land management practices in the battle against declining soil quality, salinity and weeds and pests.

“This funding includes incentives for individual landholders to carry out on-ground

activities to boost the local environment, including weed management, soil erosion control, riverbank repair and the replanting and fencing of native vegetation.

“Funded activities will include building over 60km of protective fencing and weed and pest control on more than 1,680 hectares of highly productive farmland,” said Senator Colbeck.

Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water Mr David Llewellyn said that water quality, river and wetlands health, and salinity were also among the key issues targeted by this funding. “Important wetlands will benefit from this funding through hands-on projects to protect the foreshores and control pests and weeds.

“For example, at Pitt Water-Orielton Lagoon, the site we’re speaking at today, more than 2km of fencing will be erected to protect the wildlife and foreshores from exotic pests, such as cats.

“Salinity on King Island will also be targeted through funding to the Cradle Coast region, with a science-based project to investigate the extent and rate of change in land affected by salinity and the risk of any potential increase.”

“In addition, the Cradle Coast region will receive nearly $500,000 for its Coastal Protection programme. Activities will include dune erosion control, weeds and pest management and the protection of sensitive and important habitat in areas like the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area and Robbins Passage-Boullanger Bay.

“These activities will be complemented by further funding to extend the very effective work that is addressing the issue of run-off from the region’s highly productive dairy farms,” Mr Llewellyn added.

Mr Llewellyn joined Senator Colbeck in congratulating the three regions for their broad range of current and planned activities, which they said were bringing about truly significant improvements in the health of Tasmania’s landscapes.”

A full list of regional programmes and contact details is attached. For more information on the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality, visit www.nrm.gov.au.

Further media inquiries:

Senator Abetz's office: Brad Stansfield 03 6224 3707 or 0419 884 666 Senator Campbell's office: Rob Broadfield 02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902 Minister Llewellyn's office: Paul Kindermann 0400 577 632 Senator Colbeck's office: Aaron Oldaker 0408 826 330

http://www.mffc.gov.au/06/06072aj.html

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