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Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
30 April 2002
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today announced the purchase of Australia's most recent conservation reserve - the Bukkulla Reserve in Queensland.
Thanks to $202,000 from the Commonwealth Government's Natural Heritage Trust and funding from the Queensland Government, the Wildlife Land Fund has purchased 1814 hectares of a property formerly known as Lorna Vale, near Marlborough, north of Rockhampton.
Dr Kemp said that funding from the Natural Heritage Trust's National Reserve System Program demonstrates the Federal Government's commitment to establishing a system of protected areas across the country.
"The National Reserve System Program is the most significant investment in protected areas ever made by an Australian Government. The Howard Government recognises the importance of protecting these areas to conserve Australia's biodiversity," Dr Kemp said.
"The purchase of Bukkulla Reserve represents the conservation of the largest remaining area of semi evergreen vine thicket and semi deciduous notophyll rainforest, which are endangered ecological communities.
"The Reserve also contains habitat for several threatened flora and fauna species including the Squatter Pigeon. A number of plant specimens have been lodged with the Queensland herbarium for identification.
"The purchase of Bukkulla Reserve reflects how, under the umbrella of the Natural Heritage Trust, a partnership has been formed between the Commonwealth, the Queensland Government, conservation groups and the local community to protect this country's important ecosystems.
"Since 1996, the Commonwealth Government has invested over $80 million in improving Australia's National Reserve System. This funding has seen nearly nine million hectares added to the system, including the addition of over three million hectares of indigenous owned land. For Queensland this has meant an extra 700,000 hectares in the reserve system," Dr Kemp said.
The purchase of the Bukkulla Reserve is the first purchase of land by the Wildlife Land Fund. The Fund was established by the Wildlife Preservation Society to acquire and conserve areas of high conservation values in Queensland for future generations.
"I am also pleased to announce that the Wildlife Land Fund has been approved by Assistant Treasurer Helen Coonan for inclusion on the Register of Environmental Organisations," Dr Kemp said.
"Registration allows the group to attract tax deductible donations and will give the Wildlife Land Fund a great boost in its goal to raise funds for conservation.
"As is evident from the purchase of Bukkulla Reserve, the Wildlife Land Fund will provide an important boost to biodiversity conservation in Queensland."
The Federal Member for Moncrieff, Steven Ciobo, representing Dr Kemp, today launched the purchase of Bukkulla Reserve and the establishment of the Wildlife Preservation Society's Wildlife Land Fund at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane.
Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400