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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP



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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Warren Truss
South Australian Minister for Environment and Conservation
John Hill
Federal Member for Grey
Barry Wakelin MP

1 July 2004

$7.22 million for Eyre Peninsula, Aboriginal Lands and Rangelands SA

Internationally-significant wetlands on the Eyre Peninsula, the Great White Shark, and Indigenous culture and unique landscapes such as the Flinders Ranges and Coongie Lakes will be protected thanks to more than $7 million Australian Government funding.

The vital funds, from the Australian Government's $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust, were announced today by Australian Government Ministers for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss and the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp; South Australian Minister for the Environment and Conservation, John Hill; and Federal Member for Grey, Barry Wakelin.

Today also marks a major milestone with the accreditation of Natural Resource Management Plans for the Eyre Peninsula, Aboriginal Lands and Rangelands regions. All eight regions of South Australia now have accredited NRM plans, investment strategies in place and partnership agreements signed between the two governments and e ach of the eight Natural Resource Management Regions that cover all of South Australia.

Dr Kemp said this is a significant milestone that is paving the way for future targeted works across South Australia.

"The $7.22 million will address priority actions identified in the regions' natural resource management plans such as protecting and linking remnant vegetation, managing internationally important wetlands, and protecting sensitive coastal areas and threatened species," Dr Kemp said.

"The funds will also help improve the capacity of Indigenous communities to manage the land, control feral animals and weeds and ensure clean and sustainable water resources are available to communities and water-dependent ecosystems.

"In the Rangelands , funding will be used to help protect a range of natural environment and intact ecosystems such as the Ramsar-listed Coongie Lakes, salt lakes, mound springs, sand dunes and in the south, the Gawler and Flinders Ranges.

"All three Groups are to be congratulated on achieving accreditation for their integrated Natural Resource Management Plan," he said.

Mr Truss said Eyre Peninsula's most valuable assets were its water, natural biodiversity, soils, the coast and marine environments .

"Their natural resources underpin a range of industries, in particular, commercial fishing and its fastest-growing industry - aquaculture - broad-acre farming and tourism," he said.

"The funding will assist with the sustainable management of the resources that are so important to these industries while also helping protect internationally-significant wetlands, such as Big and Little Swamps near Port Lincoln, and highly-impacted areas along the Eyre Peninsula region's spectacular coastline.

"In addition, these funds will support the 'Great White Shark Sighting and Community Education' project, which addresses the national recovery plan and brings together key scientific and other stakeholders who are involved in marine issues in the region.

"The Rangelands Plan will also help to protect the region's natural assets such as natural biodiversity, water, soils, land systems and landforms, heritage and the coastal and marine environments of the Upper Spencer Gulf."

Mr Hill said the Australian Government's $7.22 million will be matched by the South Australian Government through in-kind contributions.

He said the Aboriginal Lands regions would also benefit from the funding, particularly the natural resource and cultural values which are under threat of degradation and impact from weeds, pest animals and altered or conflicting management regimes.

"These threats could result in the loss of endangered species, such as the Southern Marsupial Mole, the Black Flanked Rock Wallaby and the Mallee Fowl, and loss of cultural values," he said.

"The investment package will support the Aboriginal Lands Integrated Natural Resource Management Group on a range of activities related to these priority targets."

Mr Wakelin said the communities in the Aboriginal Lands' region have highlighted the importance of the natural resource asse ts in the region such as soil, water, native plants and animals, sun, wind but particularly the interaction of all of these in Aboriginal culture.

"The involvement of Aboriginal communities in the active management of natural resources on their land is critical to the overall capacity of Aboriginal people to live on and actively manage the land in the long term," Mr Wakelin said.

Today's funding announcement will bring the total Natural Heritage Trust Extension investment approved for the Eyre Peninsula region to $4,490,600; for the Aboriginal Lands region to $5,644,000; and for the Rangelands $4,432,000.

For more information about the Plans, contact:

Eyre Peninsula Natural Resource Management Group on (08) 8680 2646
Aboriginal Lands Integrated Natural Resource Management Group on (08) 8260 0271
Rangelands Integrated Natural Resource Management Group on (08) 8648 5194.

A list of activities funded under the Natural Heritage Trust is attached.

Natural Heritage Trust 2004/2005

Investments in the Eyre Peninsula NRM Region

Key Activities / Action
Big & Little Swamp Wetland Management - wetlands on the Eyre Peninsula are internationally significant for migratory waders. This activity will support the strong community and landholder role in protecting the swamps including 500m of creek lines, protection of 15ha remnant vegetation and wetlands; 20ha of local native species direct seeded in watercourses & vegetation linkage areas.
Improving Quality and Sustainability Through Wastewater Reuse - there are limited supplies and increasing demands on potable water on the Eyre Peninsula. This activity builds on the previous successful first stage of a Coast and Clean Seas project funded under the NHT. Reusing water will help reduce demands on sources that may be critical for water dependent ecosystems but as well provide a source for horticultural development in the region.
Promoting Self-Sufficiency through Stormwater Harvesting - Sustainable water resource use for community, industry and water dependent ecosystems (WDE) is one of the highest priorities for the region. These on-ground activities will result with improved access for water in the region through harvesting approximately 12 - 20 Megalitres of water per annum spread over 4 locations. This will help reduce demand on the stressed Southern Basins groundwater resource.
A Coordinated Approach to Wetland Management - Wetlands on the Eyre Peninsula are internationally significant for migratory waders. This activity will optimise future investments in on-ground works for wetland management through the d esign and implementation of monitoring program to collect baseline biological and physico-chemical data for 7 priority wetlands and through protecting and maintaining areas surrounding wetlands including fenced areas on private property.
Local Community NRM Coordination, Technical and Support Network - Water, Wetlands and Sustainable Land Management On ground Works - Key activity to ensure effective delivery of on ground works to protect and rehabilitate riparian areas, wetlands , improve water quality and broader sustainable land use practices affecting water dependent ecosystems . Specialist and technical biodiversity advice and support provided to local landholders including indigenous groups, farming community, volunteer groups and local government. Habitat & species /community recovery programs supported
Ark on Eyre - this communication campaign and community engagement activity will continue significant success it has had in raising the profile of Threatened species to the Eyre Peninsula regional community.
Integrated Pest Management for Biodiversity - this activity will support s trong landholder and community involvement in undertaking a landscape and coordinated approach to addressing weed and feral animals problems targeting priority areas with known threatened species eg. Brushed Tail Bettong, Tammar Wallaby and Mallee fowl and priority sites eg. Venus Bay (reintroduction site).
Environmental Weed Control - Asparagus & Carrion Flower - this activity will combat Bridal creeper a Weed of National Significance which has had significant impact on native vegetation communities including threatened species on the Eyre Peninsula. Carrion Flower is a potential emerging weed problem that could be controlled and possibly eliminated with early intervention.
Strategic Vegetation Protection & Rehabilitation - this activity will undertake revegetation works and works to protect threatened vegetation communities. Linkages will be developed between existing remnants to improve long term viability of the remnants and the biodiversity they support - 106ha will be revegetated and protected from grazing and 268ha of remnant vegetation will be protected from grazing.
Sheoak Grassy Woodlands - the Sheoak Grassy Woodland is a vastly cleared ecological community. This activity will identify sustainable management to allow grazing while helping to ensure long term survival and viability of the community.
Threatened Species Recovery - Nationally threatened species listed under the EPBC Act in the region will be addressed by this investment. Key on-ground works programs in the region will be guided by appropriate expertise to maximise multiple outcomes and ensure complementarity with threatened species requirements. Species include Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Greater Bilby, Brush-tailed Bettong, Bush Stone Curlew, Australian Sea-lion, Malleefowl, Greater Stick-nest Rat, Southern Emu Wren, Hooded Plover, White-breasted Sea Eagle and Fairy Tern, and 25 threatened plant species listed in the draft recovery plan for the region.
Local Community NRM Coordination, Technical and Support Network - Biodiversity and Sustainable Land Management On ground Works - key activity to ensure effective delivery of on ground biodiversity and sustainable agriculture works. Specialist and technical support provided for revegetation and sustainable land management works to landholders and community volunteers. Habitat & threatened species/communities recovery programs supported.
Integrated Coastal Management - on-ground works to protect, restore or rehabilitate priority coastal areas including sensitive migratory bird nesting areas. In particular vehicle, people and stock access will be managed to prevent damage to sensitive areas.
Building Community Understanding of Marine Environment - Great White Shark Register - this i nnovative activity will implement key elements of the Great White Shark recovery plan - species listed as vulnerable under the EPBC Act. A s ightings database will be established, data collection undertaken and an education program implemented.
Local Community NRM Coordination, Technical and Support Network - Coast and Marine Works - local NRM officers supported under this activity will have a k ey role in managing on ground works activities and providing extension services to landholders, local government and community volunteer groups for Coastcare and broader NRM issues.
Indigenous Consultation and Engagement - this activity will assist the region to have more effective engagement of Aboriginal communities through establishing an Indigenous Focus Group and supporting Indigenous involvement in directing and leading regional NRM.
Monitoring and Evaluation - this activity will establish baselines and monitoring for selected parameters to ensure that investments are achieving outputs and are moving towards improved resource condition.
Regional Coordination and Program Support - effective operation of the NRM Group including management, overview and monitoring of the investment implementation.

Investments in the Aboriginal Lands NRM Region

Key Activities / Projects
Feral Animal & Plant Management - this activity will address feral animals and weeds, which are some of the most significant threats to biodiversity and cultural values on Aboriginal Lands. The activity has strong community support and is recognised as important also for training young people and providing employment. Weed control and feral animal control which will tackle rabbits, goats, donkeys, horses, camels, foxes and cats will focus on priority for biodiversity conservation.

Water Management - Key infrastructure will be improved or repaired to optimise water use efficiency and prevent contamination. Water resources in the predominantly arid environment of the region are scarce and need to be managed so that clean and sustained water supplies are available for community use and so that water dependent ecosystems and refugia are protected. Mound springs in SA are listed as threatened ecological community under the EPBC Act. Very strong community support for rock hole cleaning which also has significant cultural importance.


Management of Visitor Impacts and Protection of Cultural Sites - Increasing numbers of visitors are travelling through the Aboriginal lands. Ecologically and culturally sensitive sites such as severe erosion sites in coastal areas at Yalata require protection and restoration works as well as controls to vehicle access. Investments in priority areas now will prevent more severe problems developing in the future.


Supporting Traditional Land Management Practices - Ongoing support for traditional land practices will assist elders to pass on traditional ecological knowledge and land management practices to young people. Traditional patch burning has created a mosaic of different age and structures of native vegetation and maintains the diversity of native flora and fauna. There is very strong community support for this activity. Patch burning in Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara(APY) lands is supported by science based fire management planning.


Community Support & Facilitation - NRM community officer positions will work with community groups providing project development support, extension support and training. Positions operate within the Maralinga Tjarutjara (MT) lands, Rangelands, Yalata and Eyre Peninsula and other Aboriginal managed lands.


Feral Animal & Plant Control Strategies - this activity will result with Strategies developed that will provide guidance for priority activities and investments in APY and MT Lands and Yalata and Aboriginal Lands in other regions.

Water Management Strategies - will identify sustainable water use and maintenance of good water quality - and guide management needs and priorities for investment in on-ground works on MT and Yalata.

Water point/Wetland Protection Strategy - investigations and planning will identify priority wetlands and other water dependent ecosystems and their required management needs.


Dust Mitigation Strategy - investigations and planning will assist identify priority sites for dust mitigation and identify the management needs and priorities for investment to undertake on-ground works. Broader triple bottom line benefits relate to improved health of communities.


Visitor Management Strategy and Cultural Site Protection Strategies - strategies dealing with unwanted access by vehicles particularly in coastal areas. Primary focus on Yalata; other coastal areas in NW Lands; and other Aboriginal managed lands in other regions. Strategies will include land management, visitor management and revegetation/rehabilitation.


Groundwater Investigations in North West Lands - essential baseline research to guide sustainable water management for the longer term. Investigations will determine availability of useable resources and their sustainable use limits, without impacting upon water dependent ecosystems. A network of observation bores will be established in each community on APY lands and on MT Lands and Yalata.

Develop Regional Enterprise Strategies - this proactive approach to broader sustainability in Aboriginal communities will assist the longer term capacity of communities to live on their land and to look after 'country'. An assessment of enterprise development opportunities that will have direct benefits to NRM; increase engagement of Aboriginal people with their land; and have health and economic benefits.
Develop Code of Practice & Monitoring Strategy for Yalata Fishery - a code of practice and monitoring program will be established that can be managed by local people to ensure more adequate controls of commercial and recreational fishing. This innovative activity is recognised more broadly by the region as a model that could be applied for other issues such as visitation. The activity addresses a high priority issue for the Yalata community and reflects the increasing pressures on the coastal and marine environments.
Continue Biological Survey of Maralinga Tjarutja lands - survey work is modelled on the successful APY survey which has provided significant information for improved targeted investment to address priority biodiversity conservation issues. The active involvement of the community is key attribute of the activity.

Regional Monitoring - this activity will contribute significantly to establishing baselines and monitoring for selected parameters to ensure that investments are targeted, achieving outputs and are moving towards improved resource condition. Monitoring will be established for water quality, ground water levels & surface water flows, native & introduced plants & animals and the assessment of land condition & water-points as a guide for animal management.


Support for ALINRM Group - effective operation of the NRM Group including management, overview and monitoring of the investment implementation to ensure that natural resource outcomes from the investment and community engagement is optimised.


Investments in the Rangelands INRM Region

Key Activities / Projects
Key Activity 1: Pest animal and plant control for improved biodiversity and sustainable land management - pest animal and plants have been identified as a major and potential threat to biodiversity and sustainable production in the Rangelands. The work proposed will provide a solid foundation for strategic investment in the region. Management options and targets developed for strategic weed control by July 2005 and weed control implementation begun in the Blinman/Parachilna area.  
Rangelands pest management strategy
Blinman/Parachilna pest plant control program
Lake Eyre Basin cross-border & cross-catchment weeds and ferals
Onion weed management in the Rangelands
Key Activity 2: Biodiversity conservation targeting priority areas, species and communities for data collection, planning and on ground protection works in the Rangelands - recovery of endangered small animals, such as the Stick-nest rat, Greater Bilby, Kowari and Yellow-Footed Rock Wallaby will be enhanced, along with restoration of critical habit. Biological surveys undertaken in remote bioregions, such as the Channel country and Strzelecki desert will provide baseline data to establish biodiversity conservation priorities and targets. A monitoring framework will be established to evaluate improvements in critical habitat and in populations of endangered species.  
Arid recovery
Recovery of threatened species and ecological communities
Baseline Data and bioregional planning
Regional biodiversity support
Key Activity 3: On ground works to support sustainable agriculture and landscape management in the Rangelands - support community on-ground works to improve the productive capacity and vegetation condition of strategic areas in the Rangelands. Monitoring will assess impacts of removing feral animals and weeds on vegetation and soil condition consistent with an adaptive approach to landscape management.  
Rangelands Action Project
Key Activity 4: Protection of coast and marine resources - the Upper Spencer Gulf is recognised as an area of high significance with extensive saltmarsh, mudflat, mangrove and seagrass habitats of outstanding ecological significance that require on going management to protect them. Information for priority hotspot areas will be collated and used to develop targets and activities to protect marine assets from threats.  
Initiate comprehensive marine biological inventory, targeting regional hot spots.
Key Activity 5: Management of surface and ground water resources for healthy, sustainable water dependent ecosystems The arid nature of the Rangelands places a high importance on the limited water dependent ecosystems, including the EPBC Act listed GAB Mound Springs. These ecosystems are under threat from increasing tourism numbers, the impacts of feral animals and loss of bore pressure from over extraction of GAB water. Identification of the level of protection required for ground and surface water dependent ecosystems and the development of management actions and targets to protect them from threatening processes.  
Groundwater dependent ecosystems of the Flinders and Gammon Ranges PLUS Rivers, Wetlands and surface water dependent ecosystems
Groundwater dependent ecosystems of the GAB
Key Activity 6: Management of NRM investments, monitoring, reporting and support for community delivery of NRM works - e ffective operation of the INRM Group including management, overview and monitoring of the investment implementation including building partnerships with relevant adjacent regions in SA & Qld and the Lake Eyre Basin.  
INRM group management
Total $2,014,000
Commonwealth of Australia