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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

15 May 2006

New delivery arrangements for Natural Heritage Trust in Cape York

Australian Government Ministers announced today that the Cape York Peninsula Development Association (CYPDA) would act as an interim delivery agent for a substantial part of the Natural Heritage Trust investment in the Cape York region.

The CYPDA is an independent association with members drawn from industry, local government, and the community. Membership is open to anyone.

“The CYPDA is a trusted regional association which has good experience in managing projects and we believe this interim arrangement is another step towards the community-based model we are all wanting to see established in Cape York,” Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said.

“While I am determined to get on-ground investment going as soon as possible, our first priority must be to avoid disruption to funding of projects in the region and working hard to ensure existing and new projects are appropriately funded.

“We are very pleased to be working in partnership with Queensland in the delivery of Natural Heritage Trust investment in Cape York,” he said.

Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, said the pastoral and agricultural sector in the Cape needed assurance that their special needs were being taken into consideration.

“We are focused on finding sustainable ways to utilise natural resources so they can continue to support the community now and into the future,” Mr McGauran said.

“We recognise that all land managers are custodians of our resources and they bring a huge level of experience to this field. Our focus will be to ensure these land managers are encouraged and guided in good NRM practices.

“There has been a lot of planning in the Cape over the past decade or more and communities are now anxious to get on with the job,” he said.

Senator Campbell said while there is a need to eventually get a fully accredited NRM plan in place for the Peninsula, there are plenty of priority activities. For example, fire management and weed and feral animal control can be undertaken now and action is needed to protect these natural and economic assets.

York Peninsula is one of the 14 natural resource management regions in Queensland that have been created to deliver major government environmental and sustainable agriculture programmes. Its outstanding natural assets have been long recognised.

The remoteness of the Peninsula and small, dispersed population centres make it unique amongst other regions in Queensland.

The Cape region covers an area of approximately 137,000 square kilometres. Land uses include broad acre pastoralism, bauxite and silica sand mining, nature reserves, tourism and fishing.

Land is also dedicated to national parks and to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander use. Roughly 700 kilometres of land along the west coast of the Cape is predominantly Aboriginal lands, reserves and mines. Most of the pastoral leases occupy the centre of the region and across to locations on the east coast.

Media Contact:
Marianne McCabe (Senator Campbell) 02 6277 7640 or 0400 389 580
Russ Neal (Minister McGauran) 02 6277 7520 or 0413 601 303

Commonwealth of Australia