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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
&
Queensland Minister for the Environment, Local Government, Planning and Women
Desley Boyle MP
&
Queensland Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Water
Henry Palaszczuk MP

16 March 2006

Conservation boost for South East Queensland


Communities in Queensland’s heavily populated south east region will benefit from more than $8.4 million funding to tackle environmental issues and manage our natural resources.

Water and soil quality, weed and pest control, coastal and wetland conservation and wildlife protection are all being targeted for assistance.

Stretching from Noosa, through Brisbane and Toowoomba to the Gold Coast, the region will receive over $3.3 million under the Australian Government’s Natural Heritage Trust programme. A further $5 million is being provided by the Australian and Queensland Governments under the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality.

Details of the South East Queensland Catchments Natural Resource Management Regional Investment Strategy were announced today by Australian Government and State Ministers.

The Australian Ministers for Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran MP, and Queensland Ministers for the Environment, Desley Boyle MP, and Natural Resources, Mines and Water, Henry Palaszczuk MP, said the joint funding would run until mid 2007.

“Priorities for action have been set by local communities working together to identify key regional issues and develop natural resource management plans,” Senator Campbell said.

“The importance of involving the community in natural resource management is reflected in more than $2 million put towards community based projects.”

These projects include on-ground work, raising awareness and education activities as well as providing support for partnerships with traditional owners and with industry.

Mr McGauran said major steps were being taken to protect water resources in south east Queensland, with more than $2.5 million going to this task.

“We will be supporting smaller councils in the area to develop waterway strategies, researching the impacts of salinity in streams and assisting community-based water quality monitoring,” Mr McGauran said.

“Queensland’s south eastern coastline is renowned and more than $500,000 will be spent on caring for our coasts. This will include protecting migratory birds using the Moreton Bay wetlands, supporting programmes to monitor seagrass and estuaries, and forming partnerships with the recreational fishing industry.”

The Ministers welcomed the formation of a new natural resource management body for the region, South East Queensland Catchments Limited (SEQC), which amalgamates two former NRM bodies.

Mr Palaszczuk today attended an event to announce funding for the region and to launch the new organisation.

“People in this region have put a lot of work into identifying where action is needed and I look forward to seeing the practical results following the funding announced today,” Mr Palaszczuk said.

Ms Boyle said protection of natural ecosystems that are under pressure from increasing population in this part of Queensland will be assisted with $1.12 million.

“Activities will include identifying important biodiversity areas in the region, supporting the voluntary nature conservation programme, Land for Wildlife and helping landholders better manage weeds and pests,” Ms Boyle said.

Representing the Australian Government Ministers at the launch today, the Federal Member for Blair, Cameron Thompson MP, visited the Bundamba Wetlands where he inspected NRM displays and activities such as water testing, and flora and fauna identification.

South East Queensland Catchments Region is one of 56 NRM regions across the country developing strategies and plans to help communities manage our natural assets.

A summary of NRM investment initiatives for south-east Queensland catchments for January 2006-June 2007 is attached.

Media Contact:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
Russ Neal (Minister McGauran) (02) 6277 7520 or 0413 601 303
Kirby Anderson (Minister Palaszczuk) (07) 3896 3688 or 0418 197 350
Carissa Mason (Minister Boyle) (07) 3227 6424


South East Queensland Catchments NRM Investment Programme

Summary January 2006 - June 2007

Healthy Land     $1,090, 000

Preserving our Natural Ecosystems     $1,127,000

Protecting Water Assets     $2,555,000

Coastal and Marine Management     $555,000

Community Partnerships     $2,005,500

Regional Planning and Information     $517,328

Core Operating Costs     $600,000

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