Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
Gillard Government delivers boost for environment and heritage
10 May 2011
Farmers and local land managers will receive ongoing support for vital work to protect endangered ecological communities in the 2011-12 Budget.
The Budget will also deliver on election commitments to plan for new dedicated wildlife corridors and help local communities preserve their heritage.
Environment Minister Tony Burke said the Gillard Government would invest $84.2 million over four years in a new round of its successful Environmental Stewardship Program, through Caring for our Country.
The Environmental Stewardship Program gives landholders access to 15-year grants so they can take long-term action on their land to reduce grazing intensity, control weeds and feral animals and protect key species and ecological communities.
"The Gillard Government understands how important it is to protect Australia's stunning natural environment in the face of climate change. A healthy environment is vital to a sustainable economy," Mr Burke said.
"That's why the Gillard Government is working with local communities across Australia, and supporting the vital role of farmers to prepare our environment for the future."
The Budget also sets aside $10 million over three years to deliver on a 2010 Election commitment to develop a National Wildlife Corridors Plan to link national parks and reserves with private land, providing a framework for the protection of the natural environment and biodiversity.
The Government is working with regional natural resource management groups to plan the wildlife corridors, which will consider climate change impacts and identify linkages in the landscape to allow the migration of species and protect natural storages of carbon in native ecosystems.
"The corridors will link national parks and reserves with well-managed private land and guide future Government investments in our environment," Mr Burke said.
A further $4 million over four years will be invested to control the crazy ants which threaten the iconic red crab and rainforest habitat unique ecosystems of Christmas Island.
These initiatives are also part of the Gillard Government's Caring for our Country program which has committed $2 billion over five years to 2012-13 in helping communities, farmers and other natural resource managers protect Australia's environment.
The Budget invests an additional $8 million over two years to help communities manage and conserve important heritage places, including those affected by natural disasters.
"This commitment is about recognising the stories and places that are important to our communities and protecting our heritage for future generations," Mr Burke said.