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Buy and sell conservation land policy.

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New conservation measures will be established in key areas of the State as a part of a radical buy and sell policy funded by the Federal and State Governments.


Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill and State Environment Minister Iain Evans announced the new Bushbank scheme today saying the `revolving fund' would protect important native vegetation.


Mr Evans said the scheme involved the Government buying private land of conservation value, putting an environment plan in place then on-selling to private owners with conditions attached.


'The new Bushbank scheme, which will be managed by Nature Foundation SA, will see the Government buying up land for sale of strong conservation value around the State,' he said during a launch at the Botanic Gardens Australian Forest section.


'The land will then have a conservation plan developed for it and be sold under the condition that the new owners implement that plan. The plan could include, for example, the replanting of 100 native trees per annum for the next 10 years.'


Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill said Governments were responding to concern from South Australians who have learned from the mistakes of the past and now realised the importance of protecting native vegetation.


'The widescale clearance of native vegetation in South Australia has caused significant problems, it has prompted dryland salinity, erosion and the loss of native species,' Senator Hill said.


'This revolving fund, Bushbank, will see the State and Federal Governments taking active steps to prevent over-clearance of native vegetation in the future. Buying important conservation land means a covenant can be put in place to protect its environmental values for the future.'


The scheme, which is already operating interstate, will see the State and Federal Governments contribute $500,000 each to kick start the fund.


Land of high conservation value could be retained by the State Government ' for example the Government may purchase 100 hectares of land, 10 of which have high conservation value and may be kept. The remaining 90 hectares would then be sold to the private sector, with a conservation management plan in place.


The Nature Foundation SA, a non-profit organisation established in 1981 to support national parks, aid wildlife and protect the natural environment, will manage the scheme.