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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

1 May 2001

$1.35 million to preserve natural Queensland heritage

The conservation of threatened flora and fauna species in Central Queensland received a significant boost today with the announcement of $1.35 million in Commonwealth funding to help the Australian Bush Heritage Fund purchase Carnarvon Station.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill said the purchase of the 59,000-hectare station under the Natural Heritage Trust's National Reserve System Program demonstrates the Government's commitment to protecting areas of rich biodiversity. It also demonstrates the Government's policy of working with the community to achieve this goal.

"The purchase of Carnarvon Station is an important step towards the sustainable management of a unique property that contains an incredible range of ecosystems. This includes seven ecosystems classified as endangered, and numerous rare and threatened flora and fauna species," Senator Hill said.

"The Semi-evergreen Vine Thicket growing on the property wis as recently nationally listed as a nationally threatened species ecological community. In fact, the range many of the ecosystems on the station are classified by Environment Australia as being poorly represented or unrepresented in the Reserve System, with six of Carnarvon's ecosystems currently having less than one per cent of their areas represented in reserves.

"Carnarvon Station is in a high altitude valley and there are distinct differences between the regional ecosystems found there and the same ecosystems occurring at lower altitudes. Interestingly, a number of species, such as Cunningham's Skink and the Grey and Yellow Box, which are generally found in more southern regions, exist throughout on the property."

Carnarvon Station is surrounded by the Carnarvon National Park on three sides and its permanent protection and management as a private reserve will complement and significantly enhance central Queensland's major national park complex. A covenant will be placed on the title of the property to ensure it will be used for conservation.

Land for the park was purchased under the Natural Heritage Trust's National Reserve System Program. The program establishes and manages new protected areas of ecological significance by working with public and private land holders, all levels of government, the community and Indigenous landholders to safeguard a comprehensive, adequate and representative sample of all of Australia's ecosystems.

Senator Hill said that since the Trust was established in 1996, almost eight million hectares have been approved for acquisition under the National Reserve System Program.

Tuesday, May 1, 2001

Contact: Belinda Huppatz, (Senator Hill) on telephone (02) 6277 7640(08) 8237 7920 or 0419 258 364

Commonwealth of Australia