Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Farmers helping to protect endangered ecological communities

Media release
6 May 2011

Farmers in New South Wales and South Australia will receive support from the Gillard Government for vital work protecting five endangered ecological communities on 19,474 hectares of privately managed land the Environment Minister, Tony Burke, announced today.

“The Gillard Government values the work done by land managers across our nation to help protect our environment,” Mr Burke said.

“Through the Environmental Stewardship program the Australian Government is providing $6.7 million to improve the condition of five ecological communities listed under the national environment law.

"The program provides vital support as four of these five ecological communities are critically endangered, with five percent or less of the pre-European extent remaining.

“In New South Wales 42 farms will receive support to protect endangered ecological communities of weeping myall woodland, box gum grassy woodland and basalt and alluvial natural grasslands through the Government’s Environmental Stewardship Multiple Ecological Communities project.

“The area to be protected covers 14,671 hectares in the Central West, Namoi and Border Rivers Gwydir Catchment Management Authority regions.

“In South Australia, peppermint box grassy woodland and iron grass temperate grasslands on 27 farms in the Northern and Yorke, Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges and South Australian Murray Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board regions are being supported, covering a total area of 4,803 hectares.

“The Environmental Stewardship program is providing Australian farmers with long-term opportunities to get involved in conservation on their land and recognises the vital role they play in biodiversity conservation and in protecting our natural environment.

“Farmers in both New South Wales and South Australia will be contracted for up to 15 years to undertake a range of actions including reducing grazing intensity and expanding weed and feral animal control to improve the condition of these important communities.”

A baseline survey being conducted for the Government by the Australian National University on land already contracted under the Environmental Stewardship Program has confirmed the value of the program in enhancing the conservation of threatened species.

For more information about the Environmental Stewardship Program go to www.nrm.gov.au

Information on each of these ecological communities can be found at www.environment.gov.au/epbc/protect/species-communities.html