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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

The Hon Tony Burke MP
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Rudd Govt boosts work to protect endangered Southern Emu-wren

Joint media release
20 November 2008

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A project to protect the habitat of the endangered Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren is one of 15 South Australian initiatives to share in more than $28 million from the Rudd Government to protect Australia’s environment and promote sustainable farming. 

Details of the 15 South Australian projects funded under the Caring for our Country Open Grants were announced today by Environment Minister Peter Garrett and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke.

The Open Grants funding is part of the $2.25 billion earmarked for the first five years of Caring for our Country, launched in July this year.

Mr Garrett said the projects, ranging from $80,000 to $400,000, would lead to significant environmental benefits and advances in land management practices in all states and territories.

“Through Caring for our Country, the Government is taking a comprehensive, targeted and integrated approach to natural resource management funding, encouraging organisations to work together to deliver on national priorities,” Mr Garrett said.

“Many of the organisations funded through this Open Grants scheme look beyond their local environmental issues to link up with others to deliver better environment and land management practices on a larger scale.

“The Conservation Council of South Australia’s Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren and Fleurieu Peninsula Swamps project, for example, brings together conservation groups, state and local government authorities, local community organisations, scientists, schools, businesses and landholders to restore or create habitat for these tiny birds.”

“Since 1995 the Conservation Council of South Australia has been developing native vegetation corridors to link populations of emu-wrens to encourage movement and breeding between populations. With maybe only 500 or so adults remaining this is vitally important work. This funding will allow the Council to continue and expand on its work in the Fleurieu Peninsula Swamps, to work with landholders who have committed to this project too.”

Both ministers said climate change and other pressures such as invasive weeds and pests emphasised the need for the government to work in partnership with communities to help ensure the future of Australia’s environment and farming industries. 

Of the 137 Open Grants projects funded across Australia, 72 projects worth approximately $14.4 million specifically address sustainable farming and Landcare.

“Our farmers understand the importance of managing our precious landscape and using water and other resources efficiently,” Mr Burke said.

“This funding will help farmers continue to manage the land sustainably, in partnership with other community groups.

“For example, oneproject will help to reduce feral goat numbers and help to protect rangelands productivity.

“Invasive weeds and feral goats cause extensive damage to the environment and farming industries by destroying vegetation, causing soil erosion and spoiling water holes.”

Further information and a full listing of successful grants is available at 


Project Title Group Funding

Increasing Precision Agricultural Awareness and Adoption in South East South Australia

Mackillop Farm Management Group Inc


Project Title Group Funding

Threatened Flora Recovery on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands

Department for Environment and Heritage


Improving Natural Resource Management Outcomes in the Rangelands by Strategically Removing Feral Goats

South Australian Arid Lands Natural Resources Management Board


Managing and Controlling High-Risk Pest Plants on Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island Natural Resources Management Board


Mount Lofty Ranges Watershed Water Quality Improvement Plan Community Engagement

Environment Protection Authority


Wildeyre - Collaborative, Landscape-Scale, Biodiversity Conservation on the Eyre Peninsula

Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources Management Board


Arid Recovery: Developing New Partnerships to Restore Our Arid Lands

Arid Recovery


Threatened Plant Action Group - Community Action to Recover South Australia's Threatened Flora

Nature Conservation Society of South Australia


the Middleback Alliance - a Regional Conservation Initiative

Ecological Horizons Pty Ltd


Involving Community in Conserving Threatened Species in the Angas River Catchment

Angas River Catchment Group


Caring For Country with Fire in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands

Anangu Pitjantjatjara Inc


ForestrySA Multi-Region Strategic Area and Habitat Restoration Project

South Australian Forestry Corporation


Battling Boneseed in the Upper South East and Murray-Darling Basin of South Australia

South East Natural Resources Management Board


Priority Onground Works to Protect The Endangered Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren (MLRSEW) and the Critically Endangered Fleurieu Peninsula Swamps

Conservation Council of South Australia Incorporated


Supporting Local Government in Natural Resource Management Delivery Across the Northern and Yorke Region

Central Local Government Region of South Australia Inc


Commonwealth of Australia