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Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP

29 April 2002

Over $5.9 Million to Protect Cape York Peninsula's Natural Heritage


Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today announced over $5.9 million in funding from the Commonwealth Government's Natural Heritage Trust to support projects on the Cape York Peninsula.

"The Federal Government is committed to protecting the unique natural and cultural values of the Cape York Peninsula and has backed this commitment with over $5.9 million of Natural Heritage Trust funding," Dr Kemp said.

"Crucial to the Cape York Natural Heritage Trust Plan are the development of partnerships between local Indigenous communities, landowners and the Queensland Government.

"Progress towards the effective development of such partnerships is reflected in the range of groups that have received Commonwealth funding for their environmental activities.

"The Government also has a particular interest in providing local indigenous communities with the tools and resources needed to manage traditional land. My announcement today includes $3.1 million towards this goal, " Dr Kemp said

Projects to receive funding today include:

For further information please visit the Environment Australia web site: www.ea.gov.au/media/media-releases.html.

Media Contact:
Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400


Cape York Natural Heritage Trust Plan Project Commonwealth Funding April 2002

Injinoo and Area Natural Resource and Cultural Centre, Natural Resource Management Plan, Information System and Ranger Service. - $808,000

Injinoo Land Trust
The project will establish the Injinoo Community-based Strategic Natural Resource Management Plan, information system, Natural and Cultural Heritage Resource and Information Centre and Ranger Service. The Injinoo Aboriginal Community Council and the Injinoo Land Trust will collaborate on the project.

West Cape York Natural Resource Management Plan, Local NR Centres & Information Systems - $869,000

The Aboriginal Corporation of West Coast Cape York Peninsula Traditional Land Owners
This project will establish a West Coast Cape York Peninsula Community Based, Regionally Integrated Strategic Natural Resource Management Plan, Local Natural Resource Centres and Natural and Natural & Cultural Heritage Information system including a GIS component. This holistic project has evolved through communities that are members of The Aboriginal Corporation of West Coast Cape York Peninsula Traditional Land Owners (WCCYPTLO. The project design is structured around maximum community involvement and autonomy whilst ensuring a regional overview and monitoring system. The process uses existing resources, experienced traditional land owners and community based staff.

Enhancing Eucalypt Woodland in Cape York Peninsula as Arboreal Marsupial Habitat -$47,300

Tree Kangaroo and Mammal Group Inc (TKMG)
Eucalypt woodland on Cape York Peninsula is habitat for a suite of arboreal marsupials, some of which have suffered dramatic declines over the past 20 years. The project will investigate the population changes to the common brushtail possum, the best documented of the species, in two ways. First, local residents' views on changes to possum numbers will be sought. Secondly, repeat surveys will be undertaken at sites where fauna survey information already exists and habitat assessments made at these sites. The project outcomes will contribute to the maintenance and enhancement of eucalypt woodland biodiversity in Cape York Peninsula.

Community NHT Facilitator for Cape York NHT Region - $95,800

Cape York Peninsula Development Association
The project is for the continuing employment of a Community Facilitator who promotes and assists in the implementation of the 10 Strategies of the CYNHT Plan to community groups, pastoralists, miners, agencies, businesses and individuals on Cape York.

Greening the Cooktown School - $2,300

Cooktown State School and Secondary Department
Primary students will eradicate weeds from a gully within the school campus, spread fill over eroded areas, spread mulch and plant native tubestock to maximise shade, habitat and biodiversity. Students will monitor water quality and tree growth as part of the on-going maintenance. The school will set up a corporation that aims to create a sustainable land use model which encourages eco-tourism within Cook Shire.

Making it Happen - GIS Operations - $90,000

Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines
The Cape York Natural Heritage Trust (CYNHT) GIS project operates as a support mechanism for other CYNHT projects. The GIS project will develop and maintain a spatial database, manage the use and distribution of information, provide technical skills to assist with the integration and analysis of spatially related information, and hardcopy mapping and graphic products to support other CYNHT projects.

Making it Happen - CYNHT Plan Support and Coordination - $321,319

Environment Protection Agency
The Making it Happen - CYNHT Plan Support and Coordination Project provides funding for the operation of the Cape York Regional Advisory Panel which has responsibility for the overall implementation of the CYNHT Plan and the establishment, staffing and operation of the CYNHT Support Unit.

Making it Happen - Cape York Property Plans Extension - Pilot Properties Support and Coordination - $86,875

Department of Premier and Cabinet
This project provides administrative support for the operation of the Cape York Property Planning Technical Group which has responsibility for the overall direction, monitoring and evaluation of the Cape York Pilot Property Planning process.

Rehabilitation and Revegetation of Degraded Aboriginal Lands - $400,000

Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation
This project will set up an 18 month targeted grant program aimed at providing grants to Traditional Owner groups for small projects to address land degradation issues. These small on-ground projects will focus on rehabilitation of land management problems. This process will greatly accelerate implementation of natural and cultural resource management projects on Aboriginal lands on Cape York Peninsula.

Heritage Site Management on Cape York Peninsula - A Targeted Grant - $756,466

Cape York Peninsula Development Association
This Project aims to deliver two targeted grant programs. The first will be aimed at developing collaborative actions for major projects on Cape York Peninsula heritage sites of significance and the second program will focus on small site specific projects aimed at mitigating negative impacts from vehicles, weeds and animal movements on heritage sites. The project will also develop a communications strategy aimed at developing information relating to specific sites, linking sites through the development of heritage pathways, delivering a conservation message and targeting information aimed at reducing negative impacts on heritage sites on Cape York.

Restoration of a Savanna Community - $132,700

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
This project is a joint project between the Coen Regional Aboriginal Corporation and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. It aims to restore the habitats of the endangered Golden-shouldered Parrot and the Gouldian Finch in the Munkan-Kaanju National Park. This will enable the re-introduction of these species to a former habitat. Critical to the project is the involvement of Aboriginal people in the fencing and replanting of native grasses and the establishment & staffing of a nursery in Coen.

Mapping, Strategic Planning and Community Capacity Building for Pest Species on Wik Lands - $93,370

Aurukun Shire Council
This project aims to enable Wik people to develop a strategic approach to the management of weeds and feral animals on their traditional lands. The project will produce a GIS database of the distribution and abundance of pest species, determine environmental and cultural priorities for pest species management, and will, through awareness raising and training, build the capacity of traditional land owners and Rangers to deliver effective pest species management programs. The project will also develop innovative approaches to pest species management through the initiation of collaborative research projects on issues of concern to Wik people.

Developing Effective Land and Sea Management for the Coen Sub-region - $457,200

Coen Regional Aboriginal Corporation
This project aims to establish and staff two Land and Sea Management Centres in the Coen sub-region. The main centre will be established in the Coen area as a central resource hub and a smaller facility will be located in the Port Stewart/Silver Plains area. The centres will be important in assisting indigenous communities to protect and manage the natural and cultural values of their lands and will aid in the development and timely delivery of effective land and sea management activities on traditional lands.

Developing Effective Land and Sea Management for the Mapoon sub-region - $398,200

Mapoon Aboriginal Council
This project will establish and staff a Land and Sea Management Centre in the Mapoon Sub-region of the Cape York Peninsula. The centre will be important in assisting indigenous communities to protect and manage the natural and cultural values of their lands and will aid in the development and timely delivery of effective land and sea management activities on traditional lands.

Field Guides to the Plans of Cape York Peninsula - $53,200

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
This project aims to prepare field guides to aid the identification of plants from the Cape York Peninsula. Each booklet will deal with a single group of plans and include all species of that group known to occur on the Peninsula. The first three booklets to be produced will be the gum trees (Eucalyptus s.lat.), the ti-trees and paperbarks (Melaleuca) and the wattles (Acacia). These have been chosen because they are the main land cover species and their accurate identification is essential if much of the mapping data collected as part of previous studies are to be used widely and effectively.

Cape York Peninsula Sustainable Fire Management - $348,200

Cape York Peninsula Development Association
This is the second year of a project aimed at providing a sound basis for developing sustainable fire management strategies and practices on the Peninsula through the involvement of the whole community. The project aims to : 1) document current fire management practices on the Peninsula, focusing on at least two sub-regional groups of properties representative of major land use sectors; 2) undertake demonstration activities targeting identified fire management issues (eg. Strategic burning, control of woody plants) as a means for assessing best practice for different land management objectives and; 3) undertake skills development and communication of assembled fire management information to land managers and the wider community.

Conservation Management of the Golden Shouldered Parrot -$76,000

Environmental Protection Agency
This project aims to reverse the contraction in the range of the endangered Golden Shouldered Parrot by developing a system of pastoral management that balances the needs of the parrots with those of cattle. The project continues on from the Golden Shouldered Parrot Recovery Plan which has the long-term aim of reversing landscape change on the Cape York Peninsula. The outcomes of this project should be an expansion in range of the Golden Shouldered Parrot and a management system for cattle and fire that reverses the loss of grassland.

Conservation Management of Nationally Endangered Plant Species on Cape York - $98,900

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
This is the second year of a project aimed at preparing and implementing recovery or risk abatement plans for nationally threatened plan species known to occur on Cape York Peninsula, based on expert opinion and field survey, beginning with a current review of nationally threatened plants. On ground conservation of threatened plant populations will be combined with extension directed towards helping land managers recognise priority species and to understand how their land management practices can influence the long term survival of these species.

Land and Sea Management Coordinator for the Wik and Kugu Homelands and Ranger Service - $105,000

Aurukun Shire Council
This is the second year funding for the employment of a Land and Sea Management Coordinator for the Wik and Kugu Homelands. The Coordinator will support and develop land and sea management activities as well as coordinate the activities of the Wik-Kugu Ranger service. This position is important in assisting indigenous communities to protect and management the natural and cultural values of their lands.

Shell mound management and protection West Cape York Peninsula - $81,500

Napranum Aboriginal Corporation
This is the second year of a project aimed at developing draft management plans for shell mound groups and associated wetland systems in the Weipa/Aurukun areas of the Cape York Peninsula. The project will also maintain clan-based work teams mobilised on previous projects, identify community resource needs more closely, involve local rangers in archaeological research and heritage protection, investigate ethno-historical and narrative resources concerning shell mounds and investigate and document previously unrecorded group of shell mounds at Pennefather River.

Strategic Pest Management and Community Capacity Building in Cape York Peninsula (The Cape York Peninsular Weeds and Feral Animals Project) - $650,000

Cook Shire Council
This Project is an extension of the Cape York Weeds and Feral Animals Project previously funded under the Natural Heritage Trust. It aims to facilitate property and indigenous Pest Planning as well as a Peninsula-wide Pest Management Strategy. It also aims to maintain and support the Cape York Peninsula Pest Advisory Community (CYPPAC) as the lead consultative group for pests in the region and sustain the initiatives established in the on-ground management of priority weeds and feral animals by the previously funded Cape York Weeds and Feral Animals Protect.

Commonwealth of Australia