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


10 May 1998

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has announced $1.72 million worth of new projects for the protection and management of World Heritage properties in New South Wales.

The projects, from funding from the 1997/98 Budget, will benefit the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves, Willandra Lakes, and Lord Howe Island World Heritage areas. Senator Hill says the funding is a significant increase on what was provided in the final year of the Labor government.

"The Howard Government has shown a strong commitment to the management and protection of World Heritage areas.

"That commitment will be continued in this week's Federal Budget with funding for the eight State-managed world heritage properties remaining well above what was spent in Labor's final year in office."

Senator Hill says this year's projects will protect the internationally significant conservation values of these properties, rehabilitate degraded areas, and improve visitor facilities.

"Lord Howe Island, Willandra Lakes and the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (CERRA) are among the most beautiful places on earth."

"With the added financial support of the Natural Heritage Trust we are in a better position than ever to enhance the management of these unique natural assets."

Lord Howe Island will receive $436 000 this year (up from $60,000 under the ALP) to assist in constructing a combined museum/visitor centre and in developing walking tracks on the Island.

Other projects will help control noxious weeds, rodents and wild goats, all of which pose a threat to the indigenous plants and animals of Lord Howe Island. A survey of threatened and migratory seabirds is also being funded, the results of which will be used to develop management plans.

The majority of the $497 000 (up from $122, 375 under the ALP) being provided to the Willandra Lakes World Heritage area is to complete a structural adjustment package for landholders in the area and to implement management plans for privately owned pastoral properties inside the World Heritage area. This funding will allow leaseholders to undertake work to protect the World Heritage values of their properties.

The NSW portion of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves is receiving $787 000 (up from $87,500 under the ALP) to support improvements to the walking track system, including establishing a track suitable for wheelchair use at Mt Warning National Park. These funds will also be used to promote Washpool and Gibraltar Range National Parks and to install viewing platforms at Iluka Bluff and Collins Creek Falls.

A project of particular importance involves a survey of all known habitats of the endangered Eastern Bristlebird in the CERRA World Heritage area and the preparation of a management plan for this threatened species."

The funding for NSW world heritage properties is part of $7.3 million of Commonwealth funding for the management of eight world heritage areas. Senator Hill today announced funding for a wide range of projects in the Wet Tropics, Shark Bay, Tasmanian Wilderness, Fraser Island, Willandra Lakes, Lord Howe Island, Riversleigh and Naracoorte Fossil sites, and the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves in NSW and Queensland.

Media contact - Matt Brown on 02 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515.

May 10, 1998
48/98 (NSW)

Commonwealth of Australia