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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Peter McGauran
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Ian Macdonald
New South Wales Minister for Natural Resources, Minister for Primary Industries and Minister for Minerals
Bob Debus
New South Wales Minister for the Environment

14 June 2006

$21 million to protect natural resources in NSW

Funding to save the endangered Corroboree Frog from extinction and to fight salinity, erosion and pollution in the Murray River and its surrounds are among 49 major environmental projects soon to be underway across NSW, courtesy of the Australian and State governments.

Australian Government Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, and NSW Ministers for the Environment, Bob Debus, and Natural Resources, Primary Industries, and Minerals, Ian Macdonald, today announced $21 million in funding from the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality and the National Heritage Trust.

Senator Campbell said $329,600 would be committed to save the Corroboree Frog from extinction in the wild, using ground-breaking methods which may also benefit other frog species.

“The project will look at developing community engagement in rescue efforts, as well as attracting corporate sponsorship for the Corroboree Frog,” Senator Campbell said.

“The project will also include reintroducing captive-bred frogs into the Jugungal wilderness in the upper reaches of the Murray catchment.

“Another $260,000 in funding will allow the Murray Catchment Management Authority to work with landowners to preserve the habitat of the Bush Stone-curlew, a ground-nesting bird which could all but disappear from NSW within 50 years if action isn’t taken.”

Senator Campbell said the funding also covered a number of important projects targeting salinity, erosion and pollution affecting the Murray River and surrounding areas. This includes $525,000 for capital works on the 480ha Thegoa Lagoon, between the Murray and Darling rivers at Wentworth, NSW.

He said improving the water flow to this lagoon, which was once connected with the Murray and Darling rivers, would help protect this important wetland area and its sensitive vegetation.”

Funding will also be used to study regenerating native vegetation by using fire.

Mr McGauran said this could give farmers ways of better managing native grass and limiting invasion of woody species.

“This could have both economic and environmental benefits,” Mr McGauran said.

Separately, up to $397,000 would be committed to help the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Authority to work with orchardists to monitor crop damage by Grey Headed Flying Foxes.

“Grey Headed Flying Foxes are a threatened species but they are also a significant pest for orchardists,” Mr McGauran said.

“Information from this project may be useful in building realistic, balanced recovery strategies for the animal,” he said.

Mr Macdonald said a $3.322 million dryland salinity research and monitoring project in eight key sites around NSW was one of a number of significant projects looking at better managing dryland salinity to protect natural ecosystems and ensure sustainable agriculture practices.

“Other projects include helping the Green Gully community, which has been battling increasing salinity for more than 15 years, through saltbush plantings and improved farm practices. Drainage works to the cost of $200,000 will help safeguard the area into the future, reducing the threat of salinity to downstream river red gums and the Murray River,” Mr McDonald said.

He said great white sharks and grey nurse sharks would be the focus of two projects receiving funding.

“One project will involve the tagging of juvenile Great White Sharks in the waters off Stockton beach to obtain much needed information which will be used for long-term conservation activities,” Mr Macdonald said.

“The other will document the localised and migratory movements of Grey Nurse Sharks, as well as monitoring interaction with commercial and recreation fishermen and educating the community about the sharks.”

Mr Debus said $500,000 was being allocated to revive wetlands in the southern coastal rivers area and on an incentives program to increase awareness in the community about the ecological importance of estuaries and coastal lagoons.

“Coastal wetlands and lagoons are stressed environments and these projects will help catchment management authorities raise the profile of the coastal environment and encourage local councils, communities and private landholders to carry out rehabilitation and protection work,” Mr Debus said.

“A two year incentive program will help local councils and other land managers implement priority works.

“Another project will establish pilot sites for habitat management for the Broad-headed snake, a threatened species, and develop a captive breeding program to educate the community about the significance of the species and habitat protection.”

The funding goes to the catchment management authorities overseeing the areas in which the projects are sited and to agencies that are collaborating with the authorities to deliver on State-wide priorities. It comprises $8.5 million from the Australian Government’s $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust and $12.5 million in joint funding from the Australian and NSW Governments’ National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality.

For more information on the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality visit

Media contact:
Marianne McCabe (Minister Campbell) 02 6277 7640 or 0400 389 580
Russ Neal (Minister McGauran) 02 6277 7520 or 0408 971 708
Jason Bartlett (Minister Macdonald) 02 9228 3344
Chris Ward (Minister Debus) 02 9995 5347

Commonwealth of Australia