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Joint Media release
30 June 2010
The Assistant Treasurer and Labor Senator for Tasmania, Nick Sherry, and the Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, have today announced that the Devil Island Project Group has been added to the Register of Environmental Organisations and granted tax deductible status to help it attract donations for its campaign to save the Tasmanian devil.
The Assistant Treasurer made the announcement in Launceston today with the Chairman of the Devil Island Project Group, Bruce Englefield, and its Vice Chair, Fiona Hoskin.
The group was also joined by a feisty, still healthy Tassie devil called Muffin.
The project raises funds to build wildlife reserves, known as "devil islands", to isolate endangered Tasmanian Devils from possible infection from the devil facial tumour disease (DFTD).
"This shocking disease has spread to almost 60 per cent of Tasmania and wiped out around 80 per cent of the Tassie devil population," said the Assistant Treasurer.
"Today's announcement means that, starting immediately, all public donations over $2 made to the group are tax deductible.
"The Gillard Government is pleased to be able to extend this important status to a group as dedicated to a worthy cause as saving this Tasmanian and national natural icon."
"Having now been granted this status, I know the group is particularly looking forward to their main fundraising event of the next six months, the Devil of a Dinner, on October 4, so I wish them all the very best."
Minister Garrett said DFTD threatened to wipe out one of Australia's most famous native animals.
"The Tassie Devil's existence is becoming less secure each day, with DFTD spreading rapidly across the island since it was discovered in 1996," said Minister Garrett.
"It's appropriate the Devil Island Project Group gets support to protect Australia's unique Tassie devil."