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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
and
Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation
Senator the Hon Eric Abetz
and
Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water
The Hon David Llewellyn MHA

6 July 2006

$13.8 million to sustain the Tasmanian environment


On-ground activities to protect threatened species, improve water quality and develop more sustainable farming practices are set to intensify with the injection of almost $14 million in Government funding.

The $13.8 million funding package for the North, South and Cradle Coast natural resource management regions, provided though the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality, was announced today by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments.

Australian Government spokesperson Senator Richard Colbeck said the additional funding was on top of the $18.9 million announced last year for Tasmania, which is now supporting extensive on-ground work to improve the condition of threatened species, priority waterways, riverbanks and native vegetation.

"In Southern Tasmania alone, there are 26 animal and 57 plant species threatened with extinction," Senator Colbeck said.

"We are providing a further $750,000 to NRM South's Flora and Fauna programme to fund activities that will help many of those species survive, including implementing recovery plans for threatened raptors like the wedge-tailed eagle, grey goshawk and the white-breasted sea eagle.

"We are also investing in the recovery of hollow-nesting birds, such as the endangered masked owl, by identifying and protecting old-growth trees that provide vital nesting sites.

"Native eucalypts take roughly 100 years to form hollows that birds use for nesting, so it's vital that we protect these trees now."

Senator Colbeck said this funding would also see the development of a management plan for the Lower Ringarooma Flood Plain Ramsar Wetland.

"The Lower Ringarooma Flood Plain is internationally recognised as a unique habitat for several plant species that are rare or vulnerable, such as purple loosestrife and native gypswort, which was thought to be extinct in Tasmania.

"This special place, which provides a rich habitat for aquatic fauna such as rare galaxis fish, as well as an abundance of birdlife, will be protected with a plan that maps out and implements appropriate methods for protecting its many unique features."

Senator Colbeck, speaking at a special event at Barilla Bay in the Pitt Water-Orielton Lagoon, said the $2.9 million received by NRM South would help landholders in the region develop more sustainable agricultural practices.

"This additional funding will support Tasmania's agricultural industries with the introduction of more sustainable land management practices in the battle against declining soil quality, salinity and weeds and pests.

"This funding includes incentives for individual landholders to carry out on-ground activities to boost the local environment, including weed management, soil erosion control, riverbank repair and the replanting and fencing of native vegetation.

"Funded activities will include building over 60 km of protective fencing and weed and pest control on more than 1,680 hectares of highly productive farmland," said Senator Colbeck.

Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water Mr David Llewellyn said that water quality, river and wetlands health, and salinity were also among the key issues targeted by this funding.

"Important wetlands will benefit from this funding through hands-on projects to protect the foreshores and control pests and weeds.

"For example, at Pitt Water-Orielton Lagoon, the site we're speaking at today, more than 2 km of fencing will be erected to protect the wildlife and foreshores from exotic pests, such as cats.

"Salinity on King Island will also be targeted through funding to the Cradle Coast region, with a science-based project to investigate the extent and rate of change in land affected by salinity and the risk of any potential increase."

"In addition, the Cradle Coast region will receive nearly $500,000 for its Coastal Protection programme. Activities will include dune erosion control, weeds and pest management and the protection of sensitive and important habitat in areas like the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area and Robbins Passage-Boullanger Bay.

"These activities will be complemented by further funding to extend the very effective work that is addressing the issue of run-off from the region's highly productive dairy farms," Mr Llewellyn added.

Mr Llewellyn joined Senator Colbeck in congratulating the three regions for their broad range of current and planned activities, which they said were bringing about truly significant improvements in the health of Tasmania's landscapes. "

A full list of regional programmes and contact details is attached.

For more information on the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality, visit www.nrm.gov.au.

Media contacts:
Senator Colbeck: Aaron Oldaker 0408 826 330
Minister Llewellyn - Paul Kindermann 0400 577 632
Minister Campbell: Rob Broadfield (02) 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902


Regional Natural Resource Management funding in Tasmania - Natural Heritage Trust

NRM North program descriptions - Contact

Flora and Fauna at the Landscape Level - $690,000

This program will protect, conserve and enhance the region's biodiversity. The program has three main areas of focus:

Catherine Murdoch
NRM North
(03) 6333 7771

Productive Landscapes - $1,070,000

This program will achieve a balance between the production and conservation values of the land, and will enhance the asset for use by future generations. The program has three main areas of focus.

Catherine Murdoch
NRM North
(03) 6333 7771

Rivers and Water for Life - $800,000

This program will achieve a sustainable balance between the environmental, economic and social uses of water while enhancing water quality at a regional level. The program has four main areas of focus.

Catherine Murdoch
NRM North
(03) 6333 7771

Healthy Seas and Coasts - $588,000

This program will involve support for priority actions in four targeted areas that will improve estuarine environments in the Waterhouse Conservation Area, Tamar Estuary, Georges Bay and Camerons Inlet. Activities will include collection of water quality data, establishment of vegetation condition, soil management, estuarine health, and the mapping of weeds and pests.

Catherine Murdoch
NRM North
(03) 6333 7771

Community Partnerships - $1,272,000

The community of Northern Tasmania has been actively engaged in delivering NRM in an integrated manner through municipal based (sub-regional) NRM strategies that have been in place for between three and 10 years. Maintaining and sustaining the networks and the community's commitment will be critical to the success of NRM in the Northern Region.

Catherine Murdoch
NRM North
(03) 6333 7771

Cradle Coast NRM program descriptions - Contact

Sustainable Land Use - $739,000

The Sustainable Land Use Program will promote the adoption of sustainable management practices at the property level. This will ensure the ongoing profitability and productivity of our natural resources when used for agriculture as well as addressing key threats to assets and protecting environmental values.

David McCormack
Cradle Coast NRM
(03) 6431 6285

Water Management and River Restoration - $1,538,000

This program will address the management, protection and monitoring of water issues in the Cradle Coast region. The program includes activities which address key threats to riparian ecosystem health, water quality and quantity, and will provide a planning tool for prioritising future investments in riparian systems.

David McCormack
Cradle Coast NRM
(03) 6431 6285

Biodiversity and Threatened Species Conservation - $1,408,000

Investment in this program will implement priority actions in threatened species recovery plans, the protection of native habitat, and a reduction in threats to biodiversity caused by weeds.

David McCormack
Cradle Coast NRM
(03) 6431 6285

Coastal Protection - $754,000

The Coastal Protection Program will address threats to the coastal environment through the protection of vulnerable coastal areas while also developing a better understanding of the issues facing coastal water quality issues.

David McCormack
Cradle Coast NRM
(03) 6431 6285

Community Capacity - $918,000

The program is focused on the provision of a core team of five facilitator staff to support the community in implementing NRM activities. In addition there is support for participation in community education programs to raise awareness about NRM issues.

David McCormack
Cradle Coast NRM
(03) 6431 6285

NRM South program descriptions - Contact

Delivering Integrated NRM - $222,681

This Program reflects the region's commitment to an integrated approach to natural resource management. Whilst the Program as a whole covers a number of strategic issues, property management planning is the main focus of this investment, aiming to achieve environmental, social and economic objectives.

Vanessa Elwell-Gavins
NRM South
(03) 6208 6100

Water Resources - $364,293

The region's Water Resources Program addresses threats to water quality, water availability and freshwater dependent ecosystems. Investment will facilitate implementation of priority actions addressing water resource issues in approved plans in at least four of the following priority catchments: Derwent, Coal, Clyde, Jordan, Little Swanport, Huon, Ouse, Macquarie and Swan-Apsley. The South region contains four Ramsar wetlands in addition to 30 nationally important wetlands.

Vanessa Elwell-Gavins
NRM South
(03) 6208 6100

Land Resources - $69,449

This Program will deliver incentives funding for landholders to address soil and salinity issues in the region and will be linked to the implementation of agreed property management plans. The focus will be on vulnerable land in agricultural & urban areas and areas under development or threat of development, particularly areas in priority catchments affected by soil erosion impacting on water quality, and sodic soils.

Vanessa Elwell-Gavins
NRM South
(03) 6208 6100

Marine, Coastal and Estuarine - $269,449

Investment in this Program will include implementation of priority actions addressing marine, coastal and estuarine water quality and ecosystems and processes in approved plans. Priority estuaries, Ramsar wetlands and marine areas will be targeted, as well as threatened species and ecosystems.

Vanessa Elwell-Gavins
NRM South
(03) 6208 6100

Flora and Fauna - $748,936

Much of the funding for this Program will be used to implement recovery plans for national and state-listed threatened species and ecological communities - priority areas include Bruny Island, Kingborough, Huon Valley and the Midlands Biodiversity Hotspot region. Other activities will include: implementation of the Southern Weeds Strategy, including establishment of weed washdown facilities in priority locations; implementation of priority actions in agreed plans addressing weed, pest and disease management; and employment of a technical and facilitation support officer to help manage on-ground delivery of the Flora and Fauna Program.

Vanessa Elwell-Gavins
NRM South
(03) 6208 6100

National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality

Midlands NAP region program descriptions - Contact

Water Resources - $1,321,680

Investment in the NAP Water Resources Program will target a variety of methods to improve water quality in identified sub-catchments within the Midlands NAP region. It will provide for continued funding of all NAP activities approved through the first regional investment proposal.

Vanessa Elwell-Gavins
NRM South
(03) 6208 6100

Land Resources - $1,011,220

The Land Resources Program focuses on improving land use practices to manage salinity and water quality issues in the NAP region. It will do this by addressing threatening processes in priority areas and monitoring resource condition change.

The development and implementation of best practice salinity management in the NAP region will occur through the use of an integrated approach at the farm and catchment scale, targeting priority catchments and infrastructure at greatest risk.

Catherine Murdoch
NRM North
(03) 6333 7771

Commonwealth of Australia