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Media Release
Joint Statement by Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill and
S.A. Environment Minister Dorothy Kotz

MAJOR PROJECT TO PROTECT FLINDERS AND GAMMON RANGES


17 May 1998
(52/98)

The Federal and State Governments have joined forces in a major program to eradicate feral animals and weeds from the Flinders and Gammon Ranges.

The "Bounceback 2000" project will implement rabbit, goat, fox and cat control in the region, reintroduce fauna, and help protect and regenerate native vegetation.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill and State Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs Dorothy Kotz say the Bounceback 2000 project has major ecological and economic benefits for the State.

Senator Hill says the Commonwealth has committed $340,000 for this year from the Natural Heritage Trust to ensure the project's success.

"Bounceback 2000 provides a unique opportunity to take advantage of the impact of Rabbit Calicivirus Disease to restore one of South Australia's most biologically diverse areas."

"Its main purpose is to help native flora and fauna recover, or bounce back, from years of exposure to introduced weeds that have choked the creeks, rivers and pasture areas of the parks and control feral animals such as foxes, goats, rabbits and cats. It will also be a major boost for efforts to protect the region's endangered native species.

"As the region is one of the State's premier eco-tourism destinations, this project will deliver an economic benefit in addition to its primary environmental focus."

South Australian Environment Minister, Dorothy Kotz, says the State Government has placed a high priority on protecting the region and will provide matching funding of $340,000.

"Bounceback 2000 will build on the considerable efforts we have already made in restoring the rich biological diversity of the Flinders and Gammon Ranges.

"The need for action is all too apparent through the number of species we have already lost. Of the estimated 52 native mammal species in the area at the time of settlement, only 23 remain.

"But Bounceback 2000 provides us with the opportunity to make a difference. It will be a major boost for rebuilding the diverse biological diversity of a region which is one of our State's most important natural assets.

"The first steps to restoring this natural heritage will be the recovery of plant species now under pressure from weeds and overgrazing by goats and rabbits.

"Control of cats and foxes will allow populations of rare and vulnerable animals, such as the yellow-footed rock wallaby, to increase.

"Eventually, we will reintroduce some species no longer found in the area to their former habitats.

"It's particularly pleasing that the local community has responded to this challenge and will provide a further $60,000 to Bounceback 2000.

"Bounceback 2000 will demonstrate what can be achieved to restore Australia's semi-arid landscapes when Governments and communities work together."

Bounceback 2000 is being co-ordinated by SA National Parks and Wildlife in consultation with the North Flinders Soil Board and Primary Industries and Resources SA.

Media Contact:
Matt Brown (Senator Hill) 02 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515
Mark Williams (Mrs Kotz) 0417 602 200

May 17, 1998-05-17
52/98

Commonwealth of Australia