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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
&
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Hon Peter McGauran MP
&
Western Australian Minister for the Environment Science
Dr Judy Edwards MLA
&
Western Australian Minister for Agriculture and Forestry
Kim Chance MLC

20 December 2005

More than $30 million for WA's South Coast


Western Australia’s spectacular South Coast region will use a multi-million dollar joint funding package to promote sustainable farming, conserve marine ecosystems and fight back against weedy invaders.

The Australian and Western Australian Governments have approved the region’s Natural Resource Management Strategy (NRM) and are providing $33.6 million over three years for a range of environmental activities.

Covering a land area of 5.4 million hectares, the South Coast is renowned for places like the Fitzgerald Biosphere Reserve and a unique cultural and pioneering heritage. The region also hosts thriving agricultural, tourism and fishing industries.

Australian Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, said the funding would help communities continue their hard work taking care of the landscape.

“The South Coast is one of six NRM regions in the state taking a catchment-wide approach to environmental issues, and we’re proud to support its quest for sustainability,” Senator Campbell said.

“Keeping the sea and coastline healthy is particularly crucial for this district. Some of the funding will go into projects to better understand threats to these areas and towards activities to protect them.

“One project will use habitat mapping and surveys to feed into a Regional Marine Monitoring Plan, while other work will reduce coastal pollution and manage pedestrian and vehicle access to fragile areas.

“In terms of the fishing industry, businesses are set to benefit from a project to monitor fish numbers at estuaries like the Wilson and Stokes Inlets. Indigenous fishing interests will also be well-represented.”

Western Australian Agriculture Minister, Kim Chance, said landholders could get involved in numerous projects that delivered results both for their business and the environment.

“This is very much in line with the region’s focus on sensible, broad-scale land planning,” Mr Chance said.

“Primary producers are going to have access to technical advice and support so they can use farming systems that match land use to capability. They can also seek out new business ventures through the ‘Profitable Perennials’ programme, which will trial perennial crops in priority areas.

“The local salinity battle will be boosted through an assessment of how water moves through the catchment, earthworks to manage surface flows and a mix of soil health research and on-ground action.”

Western Australian Environment Minister, Judy Edwards, said recovery and monitoring activities would help to conserve the region’s unique biodiversity.

“The South Coast is home to many native animals and plants found nowhere else in the world, like the Western Ground Parrot, Gilbert’s Potoroo and the Stirling Range Dryandra,” Dr Edwards said.

“These species need healthy habitats to survive, so the region will develop a series of management and recovery strategies - such as fox baiting - to ensure they’re protected in the long-term.

“Weeds like bridal creeper will be intensively monitored to prevent further invasion, while other key activities will target areas at risk from Phytophthora dieback – the ‘biological bulldozer.”

The Ministers congratulated the South Coast Regional Initiative Planning Team (SCRIPT) on its comprehensive plan and in particular its ongoing commitment to community and industry partnerships.

SCRIPT celebrated the launch of its NRM Strategy and Investment Plan in Albany on 14 December.

A summary of funded programmes is attached. For more information contact Garry English or Rob Edkins on (08) 08 9892 8537 or visit www.script.asn.au

Media contact:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Cambell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
Nancy Joseph (Minister McGauran) (02) 6277 7520 or 0413 601 303
Alicia Miriklis (Mr Chance’s office) (08) 9213 6700 or 0428 911 240
Nigel Higgs (Dr Edwards’ office) (08) 9220 5056 or 0408 051 772


Summary of South Coast Regional Investment Plan (2005/06 – 2007/08)
Funded programs and project examples Aust Govt
*NHT $
Aust Govt
NAP $
WA Govt
NAP $
UNDERSTANDING OUR NATURAL RESOURCES
Identifying and evaluating our natural resource values and threats: activities include habitat, plant, wetland and salinity mapping; marine research and a socio-economic survey of the Recherche Achipelago; identification of cultural sites; and transferring traditional ecological knowledge into a user-friendly database. 981,783 1,041,748 1,041,748
Monitoring our natural resources: activities include an assessment of marine habitat; development of a Regional Marine Monitoring Plan; continued monitoring of estuaries, wetlands and rivers; an audit of soil condition; and identification and surveillance of invasive weeds, insects and animals such as bridal creeper and foxes. 304,750 1,032,534 1,032,534
SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIES
Planning sustainable industries: activities include promotion of best management practice for industry groups and primary producers; land mapping in rural and urban areas to match land use to capability; development of AgMaps CD-Roms; and an analysis of water needs for Marbellup and Denmark.   600,223 600,223
Fostering and implementing sustainable industries – trees: will investigate options for commercial woody perennial plants; further develop existing industries; integrate tree crops into farming systems; and foster community partnerships.   744,463 744,463
Fostering and implementing sustainable industries: will establish perennials in priority/high risk areas; establish trial sites; integrate perennial production with farm business plans; and conduct research to monitor fish numbers in key estuaries like the Wilson Inlet, Beaufort Inlet and Oyster Harbour. 361,494 1,118,862 1,118,862
SUSTAINING NATURAL SYSTEMS
Planning natural systems: activities include the development of water protection plans for rivers, estuaries, wetlands and water supply areas; development of public land management plans for biodiversity-rich areas; recovery plans for threatened species like the Western Ground Parrot; and a review of marine information to identify potential reserve boundaries for action in the Recherche/Fitzgerald region. 578,926 750,550 750,550
Fostering sustainable natural systems: includes the ‘Healthy Hectares’ initiative, which will develop a suite of activities to reduce soil acidity, compaction and run-off. This work will be incorporated into catchment and farm financial plans. Another component is a community-based activity to control invasive species. 287,200 610,300 610,300
Implementing sustainable natural systems – water: work will include replanting; fencing; river restoration and fertiliser workshops; river and groundwater surveys; and education projects. 49,363 1,513,564 1,513,564
Implementing sustainable natural systems – biodiversity: will put priority wetland and habitat management plans in place to protect species like the Sunset Frog and ecological communities like the Stirling Range Dryandra. 709,432 585,910 585,910
Implementing sustainable natural systems – coast, marine & invasives: activities will target pollution along the coastline and help to minimise pedestrian and vehicle access to fragile areas; progress priority actions in the Southern Shores; and develop a regional plan to manage Phytophthora dieback. 1,277,963 412,175 412,175
Implementing sustainable natural systems – vegetation: will replant cleared land and restore damaged areas to reduce salinity and link habitat for native species.   1,520,000 1,520,000
Implementing sustainable natural systems – engineering/risk containment: will develop catchment management plans to reduce salinity, waterlogging and sedimentation; audit farm resources; develop a farm gate nutrient balance tool and earthwork plans.   1,533,817 1,533,817
MANAGING CHANGE
Planning for change: will include a resource inventory; production of seasonal variability plans; and development of training courses to support land use planning. 151,575 385,760 385,760
Fostering change: will include a needs analysis of NRM Coordinators, land managers and agribusiness; and run cultural awareness-raising workshops. 331,374 690,043 690,043
Program support 612,465 1,466,974 1,466,974
Sub-totals:
5,646,325 14,006,923 14,006,923
Total joint NAP and Aust Govt *NHT funding:
33,660,171

*As part of the agreement between the Australian and Western Australian Governments, Trust funds are matched by cash & in-kind contributions from the state government.

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