The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Climate Change
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Water
$2.2 million for new reserves created by Tasmanian Forest Agreement
24 July 2013
Federal Minister for Environment Mark Butler today announced $2.2 million over two years for projects to develop walks and restore the bush in and around the new reserves created by the Tasmanian Forest Agreement.
Mr Butler said the three projects would create new opportunities for Tasmanians to see for themselves why these native forests have attracted global attention for their beauty and biodiversity.
“Earlier this year, Tasmanians achieved what many thought impossible when they moved on from the decades-long conflict between the timber industry and conservationists,” Mr Butler said.
“Today’s announcement will help bed down the Tasmanian Forest Agreement by allowing the broader community to share in its conservation outcomes, building upon the momentum created by this landmark deal.
“The first project, worth $1million, will plan, upgrade and establish low-impact, low-maintenance walking tracks through these ancient forests and also contribute towards a short walks and self drive brochure, website, open days and events.
“It will allow for an audit of all existing walks, access points and self-drive opportunities in and near the more than 500,000 hectares of new reserves created by the Tasmanian Forest Agreement, ensuring accessibility is improved so we can bring visitors into these forests.
“This project will open up the forests to visitors and help generate support in local communities for the new reserves.”
Mr Butler said two other projects, worth a combined $1.2 million, would see the community rehabilitate and revegetate pine plantations and logged areas near or inside the new reserve areas including parts of the expanded Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area such as the tall forests of the iconic Styx Valley.
“The funding will go towards replanting and pest control to create corridors and restore habitat for threatened species, including the Tasmanian devil, wedge-tailed eagle and spotted-tail quoll,” Mr Butler said.”
The funding announced today is in addition to existing commitments under the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement signed in May 2013. The projects will be implemented through local and state groups and managed by Environment Tasmania.The Tasmanian Forests Agreement Act 2013, passed by state parliament in April, aims to help the timber industry adjust to difficult market conditions and place it on a more sustainable footing. At the same time, it commits to formal protection of over 500,000 hectares of native forests.