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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment


9 September 1997

The Howard Government has announced major funding to help develop the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve as a centre for excellence in environmental and cultural education.

The announcement of $300,000 for Tidbinbilla delivers on a key election commitment to the people of the ACT.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill says the grant will help showcase Tidbinbilla as "nature's classroom".

"Tidbinbilla is already the most popular tourist attraction in the region outside of metropolitan Canberra, drawing an estimated 150,000 visitors each year.

"It is the ideal focal point for environmental education in the region.

"Tidbinbilla is unique in the region in having examples of all four regional habitats - wetlands, grasslands, woodlands and tall forests - within its boundaries.

"It is also home to two threatened species - the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby and the striped legless lizard.

"The new Commonwealth funding will allow schools, tertiary students, community groups and researchers who visit Tidbinbilla to develop an understanding and awareness of the region's habitat.

"More importantly it will help ensure that the unique environment itself is not threatened by the pressure of increased visitor numbers."

The Commonwealth funding will provide additional features and materials to expand upon the current facilities by developing new interpretative printed and video educational resource materials.

The Visitor Information Centre will be expanded and new facilities, including displays and resource materials will be provided. A new elevated viewing platform overlooking the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby enclosure will be extended to include a covered viewing area for group observation and display materials that focus upon the ways local species have become endangered.

Resource materials will cover the regional habitats of the wetlands, grasslands, woodlands and tall forest at Tidbinbilla. Attention will also be given to past land uses and their impacts, regional geology and climate, Aboriginal and European history and current sustainable use of resources.

Contact: Senator Hill's Office: Matt Brown 02-6277 7640
Department: Leona Jorgensen 02-6274 1959
September 9, 1997 (103/97)

Commonwealth of Australia