The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
National Biodiversity Investment Prospectus launched
10 December 2012
Environment Minister, Tony Burke, today released the Gillard Government's first national biodiversity investment prospectus: One Land - Many Stories: Prospectus of Investment 2013-14.
Mr Burke said that the prospectus sets out the framework for Australian Government investment in biodiversity conservation under programs within the Land Sector Package and the sustainable environment stream of Caring for our Country.
The prospectus outlines Australian Government investment in biodiversity and how we can deliver real outcomes for the environment," Mr Burke said.
It builds on the work the Government has done to date in protecting Australia's precious environmental assets.
"It provides the community with information in one document on where we will focus our investments in 2013-14 and how we will work with the community to deliver real outcomes for the environment.
"My vision for biodiversity investment is one in which we take up the opportunities we have right now for conservation and natural resource management in a changing climate and one which values the connection of people to the environments they inhabit.
"Importantly, Australia's urban rivers, coastal and marine environments provide essential ecosystem services that support local communities and their economies. To ensure the ongoing wellbeing of these communities, it is important that our urban and coastal waterways are protected.
"Human activities have significant impacts on coastal and urban environments, including on the health of rivers and adjoining urban waterways and estuaries.
"Our investment will target urban waterways affected by runoff and discharges from areas in and around capital cities and high growth population centres in the coastal zone.
"We want to start working to make sure our urban rivers look like rivers not drains.
"You can't look after the oceans without caring for the rivers that flow into them."
The government earlier this year committed $2.2 billion for a second five years of Caring for our Country, commencing on 1 July 2013. The release of the prospectus follows a significant period of consultation with the community and stakeholders to inform the design of the second phase of the natural resource management initiative.
From July 2013, Caring for our Country will be delivered through two specific streams - one dedicated to sustainable environment and the other to sustainable agriculture.
Separate but complementary streams will allow focussed delivery of our priorities and ensure effective integration with the policies and programs in the government's broader sustainability and conservation agendas.
The prospectus also sets out the context for future investment under the Biodiversity Fund, the Regional Natural Resource Management Planning for Climate Change Fund, and the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund.
In 2011 the Australian Government established the Land Sector Package as part of Australia's Clean Energy Future plan and is investing up to $1.7 billion over six years to reward land holders who reduce pollution and store carbon through plantings.
The government will continue to roll out the Land Sector Package over the next four years through an integrated set of landscape-scale investments that recognise the opportunities for linking carbon benefits with other biodiversity conservation benefits.
More information on the prospectus is available at www.environment.gov.au/prospectus.