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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray

8 October 2001

$107,500 for grassland property near Echuca to protect Plains Wanderer

Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage and Federal Member for Murray, Sharman Stone, announced today that the Federal Government has purchased 170 hectares of threatened grassland at Glasson's Grassland, near Echuca, to protect the environmental values of the local community.

"The Federal Government has spent $107,500 purchasing this property to add to the National Reserve System", Sharman Stone said.

"This means that it will become part of a comprehensive and representative network of reserves across Australia that will be preserved and maintained for the benefit of animal and plant life, as well as future generations".

"The property, on the Echuca-Mitiamo Road, is considered one of the most important sites in Victorian for the endangered Plains Wanderer and Brolga, as well as marking the south-easterly limit of the White-Winged Fairy Wren", Sharman Stone said.

Sharman Stone said that the 170-hectare site purchased by the Federal Government would be managed by the Trust for Nature.

"Only 12,000 hectares of this type of grassland remain of the original 1.2 million hectares that existed before European settlement", Sharman Stone said.

"These grasslands are what inspired Edward Curr to settle in the Goulburn and Murray Valleys".

"He makes special note of the nutritious diet these grasslands provided for horses and sheep, and lamented the disappearance of plants such as Pig-face and Salt-bush, to be replaced by weak annual grasses and weeds."

"Since Curr's day, most of our grasslands across Victoria have been ploughed or fertilised to provide the cropping and grazing that has given us a great standard of living. It is important to that we keep some of the last few pockets of grassland space that once covered huge areas of Northern Victoria".

Simon Frost 0419 495 468 or Sharman Stone 0418 392 105
October 8th 2001

Commonwealth of Australia