Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Protecting critically endangered habitat in South Australia

Media release
16 August 2012

The Gillard Labor Government is supporting South Australian farmers and land managers to protect critically endangered habitats on their properties.

Environment Minister Tony Burke said the Government will work with 18 South Australian farmers and land managers over the next 15 years to protect and rehabilitate more than 4,380 hectares of peppermint box grassy woodland and iron-grass natural temperate grassland.

This adds to the more than 47,500 ha of land being rehabilitated across the country under the Environmental Stewardship Program.

"It is believed more than 98 per cent of Peppermint Box Grassy Woodland and 93 per cent of Iron-grass Natural Temperate Grassland in South Australia have been lost since European settlement, reducing the diversity of the Australian bush and habitat for threatened wildlife," Mr Burke said.

"This new funding under the Environmental Stewardship Program provides certainty to land managers and represents a long-term commitment by the government to work with the community to deliver real improvements to the condition of these important ecological communities, which are listed as critically endangered under the EPBC Act."

"We know that Australians who live and work on the land have the best understanding of how to take care of it and working with private land managers is the key to protecting and improving the ecological condition of remnant pockets of habitats across Australia."

"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 Iron-grass Natural Temperate Grassland supports nine threatened species including the plains-wanderer, the Flinders Ranges worm-lizard and Adelaide blue-tongue lizard.

The Peppermint Box Grassy Woodland community includes a mix of species including the peppermint box, mallee box, South Australian blue gum, golden wattle and kangaroo grass and mainly occurs from the southern Flinders Ranges to Lake Alexandrina.

This round of the Environmental Stewardship Program was conducted in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern and Yorke, and South Australian Murray Darling Basin Natural Resource Management regions in South Australia, where the two communities are mainly located.

More information on the Environmental Stewardship Program is available at: www.nrm.gov.au/stewardship