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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
8 August 2002
The Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone, Federal Member for Murray, today jointly announced funding of over $470,000 from the Howard Government's Natural Heritage Trust for the protection of threatened grasslands in south eastern Australia.
The largest single grant, for $76,240, supports the conservation and management of grassy ecosystems on the Victorian Lowland Plains. The project will consolidate conservation efforts by the Trust for Nature and the Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
A $59,850 grant supports the development of the Broken Boosey Creeks Conservation Management Network to encourage land managers, state agencies and local governments to work together to protect and manage threatened vegetation communities.
Two other small grants in the Murray region will provide $4,950 for the West Boort Landcare Group, to protect species rich grasslands in two reserves, and to restore connectivity between the reserves via roadside corridors, and $2,900 for the Lake Charm Landcare Group to restore severely depleted grasslands in the area as well as threatened plant species including Hairy Goodenia (Goodenia lunata) and Bush Minuria (Minuria cunninghamii).
The grants are part of the third round of funding under the Natural Heritage Trust for the $1.5 million Grassy Ecosystem Grants for South-East Australia Program, an initiative of the Howard Government in 1999, administered by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
"The temperate native grasslands of south eastern Australia are one of our nation's most endangered plant communities, with only one per cent of original coverage remaining," Dr Kemp said.
"A total of $471,498 has been allocated from the Natural Heritage Trust's Bushcare program in this round to fund 28 locally based projects in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania. There is also one high priority grassland project from Queensland which was included in this round.
"While grasses are one of the plant families that humans rely on most, their biodiversity values are often overlooked. Grasslands perform an important function in soil health, and provide food and habitat for a number of our threatened species such the Regent Honeyeater, Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Striped Legless Lizard and the Grassland Earless Dragon," Dr Kemp said.
Dr Stone said that fifty five projects have received grants through this program, and that the twenty eight projects announced today would improve management and protection of around 4,700 hectares of grassy ecosystems through long-term management agreements, improved site planning and on-ground conservation activities, including 40 kilometres of fencing.
"A number of the grassland sites which are being rehabilitated through these Grants are located in public areas such as roadsides, old railway reserves, schools and cemeteries which will help improve community awareness of the ecological importance of these sites," Dr Stone said.
Dr Kemp said the success of the Grassy Ecosystem Grants for South-east Australia Program in improving grassland management practices and on-ground protection shows what can be achieved when governments, conservation groups such as the World Wide Fund for Nature and local communities work together.
Dr David Butcher, WWF Australia's CEO, said community response to the latest round of Grassy Ecosystem grants had been far reaching and enthusiastic.
"It is immensely exciting to see that communities recognise the valuable role of understorey species such as native grasses and wildflowers in the protection of our wildlife," Dr Butcher said.
"WWF is particularly pleased to note many projects involving local councils and regional organisations who are often managers of grassy ecosystems for other purposes. Integration of conservation into that management is a huge step toward protection of one of Australia's most endangered, fragile and beautiful ecosystems."
For more information on the successful projects funded by the Natural Heritage Trust, or to view the habitat of Australia's unique plants and animals that this funding seeks to protect, please visit the Environment Australia website at www.nht.gov.au/projects or the WWF site at www.wwf.org.au
Catherine Job Dr Kemp's office (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Simon Frost Dr Stone's office (03) 5821 5371 or 0419 495 468
Rosslyn Beeby WWF (02) 9281 5515 or 0419 520 960
|NSW||Murray ROC Roadside Vegetation Management - Grassy Ecosystems||39 400|
|NSW||Tarengo Leek Orchid, Captain's Flat Cemetery||251|
|NSW||Grassy Ecosystem Regeneration Incentive Trial and Research||5000|
|NSW||Conservation Management and Protection of Aberdeen Common Grassy Woodland||5000|
|NSW||Bega Valley Endangered Ecological Community Joint Management Agreements||11 500|
|NSW||Management for Conservation of Biodiversity in the Grassland Communities of the Moree Plains||25 645|
|NSW Total||86 796|
|SA||Management of Ecologically Significant Grassy Reserves Hatherleigh and Southend||3000|
|SA||Tatiara Grassy Reserve Protection Project||5250|
|SA||Conservation of Grassy Ecosystem Reserve in the Upper South East of SA||21 540|
|SA||Developing Appropriate Management Methods for Willison Road Grassy Woodland||3875|
|SA||Conservation of Grassy Ecosystems of the Mount Lofty Ranges Eastern Flanks||38 100|
|SA||Burra Mine Site National Trust Native Grasslands Project||7942|
|SA||Conservation of Grassy Ecosystems in the Beetaloo Catchment||25 650|
|SA||Kanmantoo Allocasuarina Woodland & Themeda Grassland Protection||10 000|
|SA Total||115 357|
|Tas||Grassy Woodland Restoration in Launceston's Bushland Reserves||7700|
|Tas||Evaluation of Management Practices of Native Grasslands, incorporating improved/ sustainable management of remnant Grasslands Containing Populations of Threatened Species||20 800|
|Tas Total||28 500|
|Vic||Grassy Conservers 3||76 240|
|Vic||Bochara Station Ground||770|
|Vic||West Boort Grassy Reserves and Roads||4950|
|Vic||Preservation and Protection of Lake Charm Landcare Grassland Site||2900|
|Vic||Best practice management of Wimmera Buloke Grassy Woodland Remnants||17 800|
|Vic||Conserving Gippsland Grasslands through Community Alliance||6 266|
|Vic||Gorgeous Groundsels and Wonderful Wrinkleworts at the Bannockburn Cemetery||3960|
|Vic||Native Grassland Conservation of Private Property||14 500|
|Vic||Protecting Native Grasslands within Ararat Rural City||19 609|
|Vic||The Gippsland Plains Conservation Management Network. Adaptive Management and Training||37 200|
|Vic||Managing the Broken-Boosey Creeks Conservation Management Network||59 850|
|Vic Total||244 055|
|QLD *||Cambooya Regional Ecosystem Reserve - grassland||7600|
|National Total||482 298 **|
|* While Queensland is not usually included in the Grassy Ecosystem Grants for South-east Australia Program, this project was included in this round due to its high conservation value.
** The final amount approved by the Minister for 2001/2002 is $482 298 - $10 800 = $471 498. The $10 800 figure was returned to WWF as a result of a cancelled project from a previous financial year.