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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
&
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Warren Truss
&
Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water
Steve Kons
&
Tasmanian Minister for Environment and Planning
Judy Jackson

27 February 2004

$4.1 Million to Go to Tasmania's Environment


Land salinity, soil condition, native vegetation, coastal and marine habitats and invasive pests will be the focus of more than $4.1 million in funding to the Apple Isle.

Approval of the projects was today jointly announced by the Australian Government Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss, and Tasmanian Ministers for Primary Industries and Water, Steve Kons, and Environment and Planning, Judy Jackson.

This investment comprises more than $3.6 million from the Australian Government's Natural Heritage Trust and joint investment by the Australian and Tasmanian Government of $558,000 from the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality.

"Today's announcement of $4.1 million signals the beginning of priority action in the three Tasmanian regions of Northwest, North and South," Dr Kemp said.

"The money will immediately kick start on-ground activities, while later this year the Australian Government anticipates funding more activities from the Natural Resource Management Plans and investment strategies for each of the Tasmanian regions.

"The funding will add to efforts to provide advice and direct work to retain and conserve native vegetation, waterways and wetlands. Resource assessments of coastal vegetation, fauna habitat, land use and geomorphology values will assist in the development of agreed NRM priorities in each of the regions."

As part of the $3.6 million in Natural Heritage Trust funding, $1.75 million will fund a project to protect threatened non-forest vegetation, including the development of voluntary vegetation management agreements, that will involve private landholders and local councils.

Further funding will be available for part two of this project covering incentives and on-ground works for conservation. Negotiations are currently well advanced with stakeholder groups on this project.

Minster Truss said property owners in the Southern region would benefit from serrated tussock management plans to cover a further 500 hectares in the region.

"This project builds on work funded from the Trust's Weeds of National Significance program that has already brought 450ha under control. The funding will continue the development of plans and provide support to implement the plans," Mr Truss said.

"Serrated Tussock is probably Tasmania's most serious weed threat, impacting heavily on the grazing industry. The potential annual loss to the grazing industry is estimated at $50 million if the serrated tussock spreads to all predicted available habitats."

Ministers Truss and Kemp said both the Northern and North West Regions would benefit from work to establish key soil condition monitoring sites, which will identify any land use areas at high risk.

Minister Kons said the funding of these priority actions within the State would further enhance the sustainable development of Tasmania's natural environment and help meet the state's benchmarks for natural resource management.

"Regional committees have been established to develop NRM plans and investment strategies ensuring local communities will have their say on future projects and priorities," he said.

The funding was drawn from the Australian Government's $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust program and the $1.4 million National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality - the largest environmental rescue package in Australia's history.

The Australian Government thanks the Tasmanian Government for working in partnership on these initiatives to protect, conserve and repair the state's environment and natural resources.

More information about the Natural Heritage Trust is available at www.nht.gov.au. Information about the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality is available at www.napswq.gov.au.

A full list of investments that will be supported by the Australian Government is attached.


 


Summary of NAP Investment Package for Tasmania NAP Region

Investment 2003-04 Total funds ($)
Urban Salinity Scoping Project - Greater Launceston Area 191,500
Understanding groundwater flow systems and process causing salinity in the Northern Midlands 227,400
Productive use and rehabilitation of salt affected land 140,000
Total 558,900
   

Summary of NHT Regional Investment Package for NRM Northern region

Investment 2003-04 Total funds ($)
Establishment of soil condition monitoring sites and establishment of vegetation cover. 168,000
Large-scale monitoring of native vegetation 33,000
Mapping of estuarine, coastal and marine habitats 92,700
Works to address water quality issues in Quamby Brook 50,000
Invasive pest management 54,000
Total 397,700
   

Summary of NHT Regional Investment Package for NRM Southern region

Investment 2003-04 Total funds ($)
Establishment of soil condition monitoring sites. 31,000
Monitoring, planning and incentive program for native vegetation conservation 299,560
Resource assessment of the estuarine, coastal and marine habitats 94,050
Protection of natural waterways through adoption of water sensitive development 75,000
Invasive pest management 130,000
Total 629,610
   

Summary of NHT Regional Investment Package for NRM North Western region

Investment 2003-04 Total funds ($)
Salinity hazard assessment 207,100
Establishment of soil condition monitoring sites. 31,000
Capacity building in the farming community 204,600
Large-scale monitoring of native vegetation 33,000
Works to improve inland aquatic ecosystems 266,560
Invasive pest management 48,120
Total 790,380
Commonwealth of Australia