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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
6 September 2002
The Bathurst Copper Butterfly, Regent Honeyeater, Southern Barred Frog and Grassy White Box Woodlands are among a number of nationally threatened species and ecological communities that stand a better chance of long-term survival after the announcement today of Commonwealth Government funding for New South Wales community groups.
The Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today announced that six New South Wales community groups received a total of $50,145 through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants Program to help protect the State’s rich biodiversity. Dr Kemp was represented by the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone, at a special event at Melbourne Zoo today to announce the Grants
“The Threatened Species Network Community Grants are a joint initiative of the Howard Government’s $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust and the World Wide Fund For Nature which are designed to assist in the fight to save our unique plants and animals,” Dr Kemp said.
“A total of 36 projects in rural and urban communities around Australia received funding of over $496,000 in the fifth round of the Threatened Species Network Community Grants. These projects will undertake conservation activities to benefit 51 plant and animal species and five ecological communities listed as nationally threatened under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999,” Dr Stone said.
Dr Kemp also said that the projects represent a community-level response to broader natural resource management issues and are a valuable way of capacity building for local communities and landholders throughout New South Wales.
“For example, the Lithgow and District Community Nursery and its volunteers are using their $8,285 grant to rehabilitate a large section of Bathurst Copper Butterfly habitat in the township of Lithgow. The group has already successfully rehabilitated a highly degraded former mine site into a habitat area which is naturally regenerating with minimal input from nursery volunteers,” Dr Kemp said.
“Birds Australia groups in the Capertee Valley and northern New South Wales have received two grants totalling $32,380 to enhance and restore key habitat for the endangered Regent Honeyeater. In the Capertee Valley a total of 800 trees and shrubs will be planted on three sites to provide additional feeding and nesting sites for the birds, while the second project will facilitate the involvement of private landholders in the protection of the species. The project will provide incentives for farmers to protect, enhance and link areas of open-forest or woodland habitat, particularly Box Ironbark communities.
“The work of these community groups complements the work of thousands of Natural Heritage Trust projects across the country that have Commonwealth Government support in protecting threatened species through on-ground activities such as feral animal control and habitat restoration.”
WWF Australia Chief Executive Officer Dr David Butcher said a significant component in the success of the Threatened Species Network Community Grants was the contribution of local communities around Australia.
“Community involvement in threatened species conservation is crucial to the survival of Australia's unique animals, plants and ecosystems. These grants are a vital step toward encouraging communities to step into the role of custodians of their local environment. The impact of community participation in conservation work cannot be underestimated,” Dr Butcher said.
Today’s announcement is particularly timely with tomorrow being National Threatened Species Day. This annual awareness-raising event is held on 7 September to commemorate the day that the last Tasmanian Tiger died in captivity in 1936.
A full list of New South Wales projects funded through the Natural Heritage Trust Threatened Species Network Community Grants in 2002-03 is attached.
To obtain a copy of the National Threatened Species Day information kit please contact free-call 1800 803 772 or for further information please visit the Environment Australia web site at: www.ea.gov.au/tsd.
Devena Wahlstrom Dr Kemp's office (02) 6277 7640 or 0412 257 334
Rosslyn Beeby WWF (02) 9281 5515 or 0419 520 960