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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
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Warren Truss

17 February 2004

$17.2m Kick-Starts Queensland Environment Works

Urgent action to improve the management of natural resources and the environment in Queensland will be kick-started with $17.2 million in Australian Government funding for on-ground projects and regional natural resource management plans.

The vital funding was announced today by Federal Environment Minister, Dr David Kemp, and Federal Agriculture Minister, Warren Truss, as part of the Natural Heritage Trust - the Australian Government's largest ever environment program.

Dr Kemp said the $17.2 million funding package would enable Queensland regions to continue critical projects while plans and investment strategies were being developed.

"These high priority projects tackle pressing issues across the state from erosion in the Torres Strait, to weed and feral animal control in the Desert Channels, to threatened freshwater fish habitats in the Mackay Whitsunday region," Dr Kemp said.

"Activities include taking stock of valuable indigenous knowledge in the Southern Gulf through a resource inventory of native vegetation and its use by traditional owners in the Karumba plains province. This project will foster the perpetuation of traditional knowledge of native vegetation and its economic and cultural values through indigenous communities."

Mr Truss said ongoing sustainable management and conservation of grazing lands was supported with more than $2.3 million in funding.

"Projects to assist landholders with the technical support required to manage our grazing lands will help to sustain Queensland's cattle and sheep industries," Mr Truss said.

As part of the funding package, Queensland will receive more than $5 million in funding to ensure regional groups are adequately resourced to continue working on their regional plans and investment strategies.

The foundation funding component of the $17.2 million will be available to regional groups immediately whilst funding for priority projects will flow as soon as negotiations are complete with the incoming Queensland Government.

The Australian Government has now committed $27.4 million this year from the NHT to support priority projects, foundation funding, and facilitators and coordinators for Queensland.

Project Details

Wet Tropics Priority Projects - $1,143,000
Foundation Funding - $600,000

Project: Integrated Great Barrier Reef Catchments Water Quality Monitoring Program
Funds: $390,000
Description: To establish a single integrated and standardised water quality monitoring framework for Great Barrier Reef catchments. This will be done by: standardisation, rationalisation and gap analysis of water quality monitoring within all Great Barrier Reef catchments; manipulating and interpreting data including linking to modelling and other activities; and developing products and services to deliver timely and freely available reporting to resource managers.

Project: Fine Scale Vegetation mapping
Funds: $90,000
Description: Accurate vegetation mapping is critical for effective natural resource and conservation management. The Wet Tropics Management Authority recognised this requirement in 1997, and began working on finer scale (1:50,000) mapping.
The field-mapping component of the mapping is largely complete for the World Heritage Area and coastal plains, but does not extend to the western boundary of the Wet Tropics bioregion. NHT funding is required for contractors to extend the mapping to the bioregion boundary. To make the information widely available, it is being transferred to computer using a program known as GIS. The GIS component of the mapping is about 70% complete, and is very resource intensive. NHT funding is required for a further full time operator to complete the GIS digitising.

Project: Traditional Owner Capacity building
Funds: $30,000
Description: To re-employ an indigenous capacity building officer to assist in the delivery of Bama Plan workshops, complete Traditional Owner profiling project, and to identify, develop & deliver indigenous capacity building initiatives. The aim of the project is for the completion of the Bama Plan workshops and collation of information for inclusion in the NRM Plan, and enhanced Traditional Owner capacity to engage in regional NRM processes.

Project: Strategic On-Ground Pest Management
Funds: $162,000
Description: This project will complete Hymenachne and Pond Apple control programs undertaken by Local Governments by monitoring and follow-up of initial control areas, together with control of further localised infestations.

Project: Biodiversity/revegetation
Funds: $153,000
Description: This initiative seeks to support three Local Government based community nurseries to provide seedlings and technical support to for 13 on-ground projects undertaken by community groups. The project targets native vegetation communities, inland aquatic ecosystems (rivers and other wetlands), estuarine, coastal and marine habitats, and significant native species and ecological communities.

Project: Barron Creek Revegetation ("Green Corridor")
Funds: $68,000
Description: This project forms part of a long-term initiative to rejuvenate the banks of the Barren River along some 140km of its length.

Project: Hinchinbrook Hymenachine
Funds: $50,000
Description: Hymenachne infestations within Hinchinbrook Shire have been comprehensively mapped (the Herbert River is the only exclusion). GPS data, combined with GIS mapping, indicates that the Shire infestation size is currently in the vicinity of 1,200 hectares. Mapping of the Herbert has begun using aerial surveying techniques, however ground truth verification is now required. In the past 18 months, Hinchinbrook Shire has significantly reduced the infestation densities within the treatment areas. The treatment areas were identified through strategic planning, and focus on the upper parts of the Shire's waterways.

Project: Human Resource Requirements
Funds: $200,000
Description: Commencement of NRM Plan implementation supported by a dedicated network of locally based coordinators and facilitators.

Contact: Rebecca Clear (07) 4724 3544

Desert Channels Priority Projects - $1,399,000
Foundation Funding - $500,000

Project: Sustainable management and Conservation of Grazing Lands in Queensland's Rangelands
Funds: $841,000
Description: This project seeks to adopt sustainable practices in the extensive grazing areas of Queensland by landholders, community groups and other natural resource managers by providing the networks, understanding, skills and technical support required, thereby contributing to natural resource management and biodiversity conservation outcomes. Issues addressed include soil quality, land salinity, inland aquatic ecosystems, and native vegetation and species.

Project: Cross Catchments Weeds and Feral Animal Initiative
Funds: $215,000
Description: This project aims to achieve collaborative and strategic management of weeds and feral animals taking into account their geographic-potential range and habits (eg. target specific hotspots), to create most effective use of resources through stakeholder collaboration and cooperation, and to improve existing spatial data on distribution and abundance of pest plants and feral animals to underpin strategic planning and implementation at all levels. It will also help increase capacity for landholders and other stakeholders to incorporate strategic weed and feral animal control into property/NRM plans; and develop communication links and frameworks to improve the delivery of weed and feral animal control in the project area.

Project: Interim facilitator coordinator
Funds: $343,000
Description: To coordinate, update and evaluate the website; compile / research information to develop new fact sheets and provide project support, develop datasets and maps; liaise with catchment committees/coordinators and support the distribution and promotion of these works. This project will also provide administrative and financial support on all operational matters, coordinate stakeholder input to plan development; plan and targets developed for effective regional planning, assist with the coordination of stakeholder involvement in the planning process; and develop newsletters and assist with project work.

Contact: Kelly Flower (07) 4951 3079

South West Priority Project - $500,000
Foundation Funding - $100,000

Project: Implementing integrated multi-property planning schemes
Funds: $500,000
Description: This project aims to increase participation through integrated management of sustainable production and nature conservation issues at a multi-property scale, and to build awareness of ecosystem functioning and progression toward catchment health targets for nature conservation. The activities will also help capacity building, weed and pest control, and water quality. The goal is to achieve 100km of riverbank fencing, 10-20 off-stream watering points, 6000ha remnant rehabilitation, 6000 ha remnant protection, 2000ha+ protected by controlling grazing pressure, Increased capacity of landholders, on-going monitoring of sites and 10-20 properties under Voluntary Management Agreements.

Contact: Wilfred D'Rozario (07) 4620 0113

South East Queensland Priority Projects - $1,156,000
Foundation Funding - $615,000

Project: Landholders Assistance Program
Funds: $400,000
Description: To provide components of an integrated landholder support package, ranging from Land for Wildlife through devolved grants to Nature Refuges, which can work with Local Government and State Government programs to encourage on ground-works (such as rate relief, weeds subsidies, education, technical advice, conservation agreements and conservation zoning. The program will provide funding support for rehabilitation assistance to landholders and natural resource management groups to protect, manage and restore remnant vegetation with a focus on wildlife habitat, riverbank rehabilitation and rivercare, biodiversity conservation and rehabilitation, and the conservation of ecosystems of State and regional significance.

Project: SEQ Waterwatch Network maintenance and enhancement
Funds: $90,000
Description: This project aims to maintain and continue to improve in quality and coverage the valuable community water quality monitoring programs in existence. It will do this by identifying geographical gaps in SEQ, develop and trial local and regional strategies to fill those gaps with interested local partners; and develop and trial local and regional strategies for the introduction of estuarine monitoring with interested local partners using the new Waterwatch Estuarine Monitoring Manual for Queensland. The project will also support a pilot project in Maroochy & Mooloolah catchments for community groundwater monitoring, and develop broader stakeholder partnerships to enhance community capacity to participate in regional water quality and river health monitoring programs.

Project: Development of NRM plan and Regional Investment Strategy in SEQ
Funds: $210,000
Description: This project aims to maintain effective human resource support for the regional planning process in SEQ. It will help extend the support of the Community Support Officers and coordinators to facilitate the development and completion of the NRM Plan and associated Investment Strategy within this period. Its objectives are: an accredited NRM Plan and Investment Strategy, a credible regional body known and accepted by key stakeholders, consistent and progressive development of the Plan; and effective implementation of on ground funding programs to the satisfaction of stakeholders

Project: Implementing coastal management priorities
Funds: $100,000
Description: This project will build on proven on-ground programs for the management and monitoring of coastal habitats, with a particular focus on seagrass monitoring and shorebird habitat enhancement in the environs of Moreton Bay. It will do this by protecting and enhancing an existing critical high-tide migratory wader bird roost sites significant for species of international, national, state and local significance (eg. eastern curlew) around Moreton Bay, a RAMSAR listed site. Through the use of established simple field sampling methods, the project will collect quality information on changes in seagrass meadow characteristics, such as the extent of coverage, position and depth of habitat, species composition (seagrass and algae), estimates of biomass, presence of dugong feeding trails and possible human impacts. The project will also map critical dugong habitats in Moreton Bay to attempt to address impact of increasing boat strikes on dugong.

Project: Indigenous engagement
Funds: $41,000
Description: This project aims to build effective working relationships with an informed and enthusiastic natural resource management community, including raised awareness within indigenous communities of NRM planning processes and developing participation framework. Its objective is to improve the capacity of the community to participate in the natural resource management planning and implementation process; and to strengthen the working relationships and supporting framework between the SEQ Indigenous community and NRMSEQ.

Project: Moreton Bay Partnerships
Funds: $315,000
Description: This project aims to determine areas of sediment generation within the Logan, Albert and Maroochy/Mooloolah catchments, and undertake resource mapping and assessment including stream order, riverbank and channel condition mapping activities as well as geology, land use and tenure mapping. It will also see an initial analysis of priorities for improving water quality, assessing protection versus stabilisation versus repair.

Contact: Chirs Rinehart (07) 3211 4404

Queensland Murray Darling Priority Projects - $580,000

Project: Weed and pest animal prevention and management in the Maranoa Balonne and border Rivers.
Funds: $325,000
Description: This project focuses on actions to minimise the impact of pests and weeds identification and increase the adoption of best management practices. It aims to support the investigation and development of improved pest management practices, broaden the knowledge and awareness of the wider community on the impact of pests, and implement coordinated monitoring and control plans for weeds, pest and feral animals, including potential and emerging species, from the property to the regional scale. It will also maximize the prevention of new pest outbreaks.

Project: Saving Our Soils
Funds: $115,000
Description: This project aims to have landholders implement improved soil conservation practices that will result in property nutrient loads being significantly reduced and kept on property. The project aim is to implement on-ground works and actions at sub-catchment and property scale to improve soil structure and reduce nutrient loss in highly-degradable landscapes. Its objective is to get 7000 hectares of farming country under changed cropping practices to improve soil condition, with at least 2000 ha of physical soil protection works.

Project: State Level Policy Partnerships
Funds: $140,000
Description: Enhancing the delivery of regional NRM outcomes.

Contact: Wilfred D'Rozario (07) 4620 0113

Northern Gulf Priority Projects - $468,000
Foundation Funding - $530,000

Project: Biodiversity monitoring program for priority on-ground nature conservation
Funds: $40,000
Description: Maintenance of the biodiversity of most ecosystems within the tropical savannas depends upon the ecologically sustainable management of lands outside the formal conservation reserve system. Many biodiversity conservation activities concentrate on small discrete and unusual features in the landscape such as springs, riverine strips and other wetlands. This project aims to establish baseline biodiversity monitoring for priority nature conservation programs in the Northern Gulf. In particular it aims to involve community groups in these monitoring programs, thus increasing the capacity for future on-going sustainable management and monitoring of these significant sites.

Project: Connection to country
Funds: $30,000
Description: To enthuse the youth of the Northern Gulf region about the values of the natural and cultural heritage and bridge community information and social gaps. This will be done by establishing resource and cultural packages that demonstrate the conservation and cultural values of land, water and biodiversity including but not limited to bush tucker, bush medicine, tracking, natures indicators of health and current management technologies; engaging indigenous elders and youth to participate in 'Connection to Country' workshops; and engaging school groups, industry groups (eg. Pastoral and tourism) to participate in 'Connection to Country' workshops.

Project: Extension of coordinator and facilitator support for successful plan accreditation and implementation
Funds: $148,000
Description: To progress the regional model in the Northern Gulf region and enable cooperative effort by community and government to implement management actions for sustainable natural resource management.

Project: Strategic wash-down facility
Funds: $250,000
Description: This project aims to strategically minimise introduction of new pest species and exotic diseases - specifically parthenium, rats tail grass, praxillis, and prickly acacia, which have the potential to threaten biodiversity and productivity assets of the Northern Gulf region. The aim is to install washdown and interpretive facilities that highlight weed seed spread along the Mt Isa to Normanton, Mareeba to Cook, Mt Garnet to Mt Surprise, Charters Towers to Einasleigh and Mareeba to Chillagoe highways. This will inform people about threatening weeds, vectors of travel, and methods of mitigation for service providers, community, tourists, and industry organisations.

Contact: Annie Keys (07) 3214 2650

Southern Gulf Priority Projects - $543,000
Foundation Funding - $580,000

Project: Support for indigenous NRM through a strategic resource inventory of native vegetation and its use by traditional owners in the Karumba plains province
Funds: $90,000
Description: Indigenous communities constitute a major asset for NRM development planners in the Gulf region as they are repositories of valuable knowledge of the country and its resources, and they have a long proven record of sustainable custodianship of these. However, in order to realise this capacity for NRM planning, traditional owners need to first consolidate this knowledge base within their own communities and link this to the western scientific knowledge which is the basis for planning at regional level. The project will begin with extensive consultations with traditional owners of the Ganggalida, Gkuthaarn, Kukatj, Kurtijar communities of the coastal plain and other relevant stakeholders such as the Carpentaria Land Council. The objective is o engage key indigenous communities within the NRM planning process for the Southern Gulf region, and to foster the perpetuation and extension of traditional knowledge of native vegetation and its economic and cultural values through indigenous communities.

Project: Gulf Riparian Management
Funds: $150,000
Description: Best-practice riverbank management of the Gulf rivers is of crucial importance to this region's long-term sustainable biodiversity and production. Traditionally, the major rivers of the region - the Flinders/Cloncurry, Leichhardt and Gregory/Nicholson - have been used for extensive grazing of cattle with the watercourse and associated waterholes being used as a direct watering source for livestock. This has led to increased pressure on the riverbank systems, overgrazing of floodplain pastures and river vegetation, trampling, denudation and compaction of soils, stream bank erosion, major bank slumping, and increased weed infestation and high feral animal populations. The objectives of this project are for rehabilitation and stabilisation of river banks, natural regeneration with native tree, shrub and grass species, reduction in grazing pressure on riparian environment, and more balanced grazing over more of the property. The project also aims for mitigation of land degradation, especially sheet and gully erosion, improved conditions for weed control and management, reduced reliance on the rivers and waterholes as source of cattle watering; and improvement in water quality through reduced sedimentation, turbidity, nutrient levels.

Project: Preliminary inventory of fish species and threatened freshwater habitats of the Southern Gulf Catchment Rivers for conservation priorities and planning
Funds: $33,000
Description: This project aims to develop a preliminary inventory of fish species and aquatic habitats, together with indications of threat status through on-ground observation and measurements of water quality. The project is necessary because no studies of freshwater fish populations or aquatic environments have yet been conducted at a catchment-wide level in the Southern Gulf region and so no basis exists for informed planning for the sustainable development and conservation of rivers. The project aims to produce an inventory and distribution of freshwater fish species through each catchment. It will also identify areas where riverine species and habitats are vulnerable and perhaps indicate the source of threat. In the short term, an investigation of this type is essential as a strategic planning tool for the catchment.

Project: Conservation and sustainable management of the Stock Route network in the Southern Gulf catchment
Funds: $40,000
Description: Stock routes have strong heritage value as they comprise an infrastructure developed during the later part of the nineteenth century and corridors excluded from pastoral selections. The stock route network in the Southern Gulf region has been identified as of high biodiversity importance. The resource condition status of fenced stock route areas is generally better than surrounding rangelands. It is anticipated that as corridors of good ground cover and biodiversity, stock routes can assist in the recovery of adjacent degraded rangelands. Consequently, maintaining the integrity of the stock route network has been identified as a highly strategic goal in the Southern Gulf.

Project: Weed Management Strategic Proposals
Funds: $230,000
Description: This project aims for the maintenance of the ecological health and integrity of regional terrestrial, (marine and aquatic) ecosystems and preservation of their biodiversity, minimisation of impacts and spread of weeds within Southern Gulf Catchments through an integrated weed management approach; establishment of stakeholder and community partnership schemes to reduce existing weed infestations; and establishment of an ongoing monitoring system to help restrict further outbreaks and to recognise the threat of invasion by new weed species.

Contact: Alan Roe (07) 4743 1888

Burdekin Dry Tropics Priority Projects - $464,500
Foundation Funding - $181,000

Project: Coordinator Facilitator extension
Funds: $270,000
Description: The provision of ongoing staff support enables the continuation of community capacity building and development of projects to address priority issues identified during the NRM planning process. This funding will go towards salaries and operating costs for key field and administration staff to maintain the operations of the Burdekin Dry Tropics Board, during the period between completion of the plan and accreditation, and flow of funds as per the investment strategy.

Project: Protection and restoration of degraded seasonal wetlands in Northern Australia
Funds: $92,000
Description: To develop and promote guidelines for using fire and grazing to restore northern Australian wetlands degraded by invasive plant species. The project will: investigate opportunities to restore the biodiversity and water quality of seasonal wetland ecosystems and improve weed management; compare the effects of different fire and grazing regimes on the vegetation of northern Australian wetlands using the Townsville Town Common Conservation Park and Bowling Green Bay National Park as test sites; and develop and promote guidelines for using fire and grazing to maintain and restore wetlands in the Murray-Burnett, Fitzroy, Wet Tropics and Burdekin catchments.

Project: Property level Rangeland grazing targets for the northern brigalow belt
Funds: $57,500
Description: This project aims to develop property level targets to achieve sustainable natural resource management in the rangeland communities of the northern Brigalow Belt Bioregion; engage and support the grazing community in the NRM planning process; and develop property level targets to directly inform the NRM regional plan implementation and investment strategies.

Project: Integrated community education and involvement in total water cycle management
Funds: $45,000
Description: This project is the community education and involvement component of the Creek to Coral program, which is being promoted and implemented by a broad group of stakeholders in the Townsville Thuringowa coastal plain. One of the aims of the 'Whole of Catchment' approach adopted in the Creek to Coral program, is to increase community environmental awareness, through education and monitoring. This component will involve and engender community based stewardship, empowerment and ownership of catchment-wide, sustainable, total water cycle issues.

Contact: Rebecca Clear (07) 4724 3544

Condamine Alliance Priority Projects - $830,000

Project: Supporting indigenous participation in achieving cultural and natural resource management outcomes across the Queensland Murray Darling Basin and Bulloo catchments
Funds: $280,000
Description: To implement priority biodiversity and land management activities on sites of cultural significance; strengthen relationships with indigenous communities and encourage their participation in the better delivery of NRM outcomes across the region; and document any learning resulting from the project.

Project: Integrated on-ground activities to support community-based nature conservation and sustainable agriculture outcomes
Funds: $550,000
Description: To implement priority biodiversity and land management activities throughout the Condamine catchment, working with the existing network of NRM support officers and programs within the region. The project will see weed control in 500 hectares of priority bushland, public reserves across 10 major sites (urban and rural) within the catchment, 125km of riverbank zone protected and restored, 5 ha of bushland enhanced through revegetation activities, 150 ha of priority remnant vegetation fenced, 10 priority wetlands protected and coordinated run-off flow across 10,000ha of floodplain.

Contact: Wilfred D'Rozario (07) 4620 0113

Fitzroy Basin Assoc Priority Projects - $509,000
Foundation Funding - $200,000

Project: Murries protecting and presenting their cultural heritage in Central Qld
Funds: $109,000
Description: The aim of this project is that by 2050, indigenous and non-indigenous cultural heritage sites are identified, conserved, protected and valued. New State legislation pertaining to protection of Indigenous cultural heritage is to be enacted early in 2004. Among other changes, the legislation places a 'duty of care' on developers to protect Cultural Heritage. Currently there is a widespread lack of knowledge of how the new laws will work, and especially how Aboriginal people can use the new laws most effectively. While the legislation places ownership and final control over Cultural Heritage with the State, there is room to improve the control Aboriginal people have over their Cultural Heritage.

Project: Achieving biodiversity targets through neighbourhood catchments
Funds: $250,000
Description: A range of assets (land, ecosystem health & biodiversity, water, cultural heritage, economic, social) have been identified and resource condition and management action targets have been set to protect and manage them sustainably for future generations. To achieve these targets it requires working with land managers on a catchment and landscape basis. Fitzroy Basin Association is working with land managers, government agencies, industry, private sector, and community groups to achieve this goal by adopting a Neighbourhood Catchments methodology.

Project: Management of significant areas for biodiversity conservation within exploration and coal mining lease areas in the brigalow belt north bioregion
Funds: $150,000
Description: The project aims to develop a clear and transparent policy process to make decisions on the management of significant biodiversity areas that lie within exploration and mining lease areas in the Brigalow Belt North, particularly the Bowen basin. The brigalow communities of the Brigalow Belt have been extensively cleared for agricultural development and are listed as endangered under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and at a state level under the Vegetation Management Act. Because of the staged approach to mining development being undertaken a number of mining leases contain significant brigalow remnants as well as other vegetation communities with high biodiversity values.

Contact: Kelly Flower (07) 4951 3079

Burnett-Mary Priority Projects - $ $600,000
Foundation Funding - $130,000

Project: Integrated management of terrestrial and aquatic weeds of national, state and regional significance
Funds: $270,000
Description: The aim of this project is to identify significant gaps in the integrated management of all weeds (terrestrial, riparian and aquatic); develop a framework for short, mid and long-term actions and investments to obtain sustainable outcomes in pest and weed management at a regional scale; and to develop appropriate management strategies for inclusion in the NRM Plan (where appropriate). The project will also inform Local Government Pest Management Plans. Through the integrated management of weeds, it is also hoped to achieve an improved water quality outcome (in keeping with the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan 2003), work towards the sustainability of agricultural lands and increased biodiversity in the Burnett-Mary region.

Project: Science and practice to improve biodiversity
Funds: $230,000
Description: This project aims to identify high biodiversity areas using known datasets and assess threats, information gaps, and likely measures to address potential losses; and develop a prioritisation matrix to guide the development of integrated and coordinated biodiversity management strategies, targeted at identified priority biodiversity hotspots and ecosystems. This project will also develop and implement a plan to manage the pressures; target community capacity building of biodiversity and ecosystem management through on-ground actions; and enhance community awareness of issues and solutions to guide the setting of targets for biodiversity and ecosystem management.

Project: Regional community human resource support
Funds: $100,000
Description: This project aims to ensure that activities implemented as priority actions are supported through to completion; continue to support the community with the human resources necessary to deliver an accredited NRM Plan; and continue to engage and partner with ever larger percentages of the community. It will also target community support to develop a Regional Investment Strategy that clearly outlines the steps towards achieving a sustainable regional planning system.

Contact: Claire Heath (07) 3214 2641

Mackay Whitsunday Priority Projects - $1,555,100
Foundation Funding - $537,400

Project: Mackay Whitsunday Healthy Waterways
Funds: $200,000
Description: This project aims to provide information for setting local and regional water quality targets; provide information for setting local and regional water quality guidelines; develop monitoring and evaluation programs for all priority waterways; and ensure that all regional waterways meet agreed regional standards for water quality. It will also provide information for the accredited regional natural resource management plan; provide information for a water quality improvement plan; and ensure community participation in waterway monitoring and management.

Project: Sustainable Landscapes Program
Funds: $80,000
Description: Cane is the critical intensive land use and grazing is the critical extensive land use to target. There has been much progress in recent years on trialing and proving individual components of more sustainable agricultural production and the natural environment systems. The sustainable Landscapes Program will maximise the benefits of the individual components by packaging them into a complete program. This will develop a voluntary incentive scheme that targets the highest priority actions in both agricultural production and natural environment systems (eg cane farming, grazing, native vegetation, weeds and fish habitat). It will accelerate the adoption of the most sustainable practises by landholders across the whole landscape, improve the underlying resource condition of the Mackay Whitsunday Region; and effect major, measurable and lasting change both within the paddock and downstream ecosystems.

Project: Coordinator/facilitator project
Funds: $174,000
Description: This project will contribute to the development of regional plans and involve the community and other stakeholders in regional implementation activities for the Trust extension; and maintain and build the capacity of the community and other stakeholders for increased involvement in natural resource management and related activities.

Project: Reef Coastal Freshwater Fish Habitat Strategy
Funds: $210,000
Description: This project aims to identify the past and present condition of catchments, streams and fish habitat of reef catchments, identify the key threatening processes affecting freshwater fish habitats; prioritise threatening processes on a regional basis; outline recovery techniques for the threatening processes; commence construction of protection and rehabilitation works in each of the regions; and monitor works to demonstrate effectiveness and guide future works.

Project: Implementation of Sustainable Coastal Agricultural Systems in Great Barrier Reef
Funds: $758,500
Description: This project aims to develop a collaborative partnership between Regional Bodies, Peak Bodies and Government in order to develop and implement education, extension and trialing of sustainable agricultural programs that successfully deliver on-ground change and subsequently prioritise NRM outcomes to the Great Barrier Reef.

Project: Control of Mimosa pigra at Peter Faust Dam
Funds: $132,600
Description: If Mimosa pigra is not controlled and allowed to spread and infest the coastal creeks and rivers, this will have social and economic implications on the Whitsunday region in terms of increased costs imposed on all landholders, reduce ability to agist cattle, restrictions on movement of machinery and also movement of tourists. This project aims to reduce 40 hectares of Melaleuca regrowth to more effectively enable the chemical control and monitoring of areas affected by the weed. About 4km of lake frontage will be cleared of Melaleuca regrowth at a width of about 100m.

Contact: Kelly Flower (07) 4951 3079

Cape York Priority Projects - $2,002,000
Foundation Funding - $673,000

Some examples of Priority Action Projects funded in the Cape York Peninsula:
Project: Land and Sea Management Centres
Funds: $811,000
Description: This project aims to promote indigenous involvement in natural and cultural resource management; help the continued successful running and management of the Land and Sea Management Centres; and establishment and implementation of NRM plans for the regions.

Project: Cape York Sustainable Fire Management
Funds: $153,625
Description: This project aims to document best practice fire management practices on the Peninsula, develop appropriate fire management practices at property level, document existing fire regimes using remote sensing and extension and communicate fire management information to land managers and the wider community.

Project: Natural Environment Rehabilitation and restoration through Landcare and Catchment Management
Funds: $100,000
Description: The purpose of this project is to further enhance community capacity and natural resource management in the Cape York region. The project will focus on two strategic locations of Cape York, Albatross Bay Weipa and Laura-Normanby catchment and will assist the promotion of ecologically sustainable development within the community through integrated catchment management strategies that enhance the natural environment.

Project: Conservation Status of the Wenlock River Pseudophryne Frog
Description: The aim of this project is to survey potential habitat for the presence of the Wenlock River Pseudophryne frog, ascertain its current conservation status and recommend management actions for its long-term survival.

Project: Strategic Pest Planning, Management and Community Capacity Building
Funds: $650,000
Description: The key outcome of the project is to complete the transfer of skills in pest management to the community and develop a Cape York Pest Management Strategy. This can ensure ongoing management of pests in Cape York Peninsula within an appropriate strategic framework and consolidate the valuable achievements of the Cape York Weeds and Feral Animals Project.

Contact: Claire Heath (07) 3214 2641

Commonwealth of Australia