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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

9 November 2001

Natural Heritage Trust Funding to Save Species, Control Weeds and Protect Water Across Victoria


Community groups across Victoria will share in over $950,000 in funding through the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust, for recovery plans and Waterwatch activities Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage announced today.

"This additional Trust funding will help Victorian Landcare Groups, local Catchment Management Authorities and community groups to continue their outstanding work restoring, repairing and rehabilitating our precious environment", Sharman Stone said.

"Projects range from $60,000 to monitor the quality of water across Victoria to $70,000 for continued work on protecting the endangered Helmeted Honeyeater in Melbourne's east and $63,400 for willow control along two key tributaries of the Gippsland Lakes".

"This latest funding round will see recovery plans developed and implemented for a wide range of endangered species including the spotted tree frog, the long-footed potoroo, the south-eastern red-tailed cockatoo and the pincushion lily.

"Recovery plans will also be developed for 16 nationally threatened Victorian orchids. Commonwealth funding will assist "weed warriors" and in local bridal creeper biological control efforts across Victoria.

"These projects will form part of the important network of community environmental work underway in Victoria and throughout Australia to deliver benefits now and in the future.

"This is the fifth year the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust and has funded local community groups for on-ground works to help achieve sustainable agriculture and conserve Australia's unique natural heritage", Sharman Stone said.

The Howard Government has committed an extra $1 billion to extend the Natural Heritage Trust for a further five years beyond 2002.

Sharman Stone said the Trust's funding has generated $7 in-kind support for every $1 invested by the Federal Government.

"Success of the Trust depends heavily on strong community involvement in identifying local environmental and natural resource management problems, developing local solutions and getting the job done", Sharman Stone said.

"These 15 projects and $950,000 investment will contribute to protecting flora and fauna across Victoria and demonstrates that Howard Government's commitment to our natural assets".

Contact:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468
November 9, 2001


 

NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST PROJECTS - STATEWIDE & REGIONAL VIC 2001-02

Endangered Species, Waterwatch and National Weeds Program Projects
South-eastern Red-tailed Black-cockatoo Recovery Plan
Region Ballarat, Barker, Bendigo, Corangamite, Mallee, Murray, Wannon
Organisation Birds Australia
Project ID 6081 State ID 573 C'wealth Funding $65,340
Program Endangered Species Program Other Funding $91,800
  Total Funding $157,140
The project aims to ensure that a viable breeding population persists in south-eastern Australia and in the long-term shift the status of the species from endangered to conservation dependant. The recovery project is now entering a management phase, where much of the information required to successfully manage the cockatoo has been collected. Emphasis is now on management to improve carrying capacity of the cockatoo's habitat and fencing of remnant habitat, negotiation with public and private landholders to reduce fire frequency and increase fruit production, and protection of nests from ground predators. Re-establishment of feeding and nesting habitat is also a key action recommended. Ongoing monitoring to assess progress against the recovery objectives is also recommended.

Spotted Tree Frog Recovery Plan (phase 2)
Region Eden-Monaro, Farrer, Gippsland, Hume, Indi, Mcewen
Organisation Department of Natural Resources and Environment
Project ID 6474 State ID C'wealth Funding $60,000
Program Endangered Species Program Other Funding $96,500
  Total Funding $156,500
This proposal is for the fifth year of implementation of the recovery plan, including population monitoring, trout eradication and exclusion, and community involvement and education.

Long Footed Potoroo Recovery Plan (implementation)
Region Eden-Monaro, Gippsland, Indi
Organisation Department of Natural Resources and Environment
Project ID 6478 State ID C'wealth Funding $65,000
Program Endangered Species Program Other Funding $229,500
  Total Funding $294,500
This proposal is to implement Year 4 of the recovery plan. Major activities are: habitat protection; predator control and monitoring including fox and dog control over 4 areas, with potoroo monitoring at 4 sites; to clarify distribution of the species through surveys of new sites in East Gippsland and North-east Victoria, using hair tubing, live trapping and active search; complete disturbance response project using radio tracking and hair tubing; continue research project in NSW into fungi ecology and undertake research in Victoria; gather biological information for population assessments; maintain captive colony at Healesville sanctuary; undertake publicity of the project , involve local communities and volunteers in management of the species.

Helmeted Honeyeater Recovery Plan Phase 2 (implemention)
Region Casey, Latrobe, McMillan, Mcewen
Organisation Department of Natural Resources and Environment
Project ID 6482 State ID 6482 C'wealth Funding $70,000
Program Endangered Species Program Other Funding $284,300
  Total Funding $354,300
Year 5 of implementation of the recovery plan. The project aims to continue the intensive recovery program for this critically endangered bird. In particular: establishment of a new population in a different catchment through release of captive birds, habitat rehabilitation, hydrological works to overcome siltation in part of Cockatoo Swamp, continuing close monitoring of the wild populations and strategic control of competing Bell Miners.

Borya mirabilis (pincushion-lily) Recovery Plan (preparation)
Region Ballarat, Mallee, Wannon
Organisation Parks Victoria
Project ID 14217 State ID 982070B C'wealth Funding $15,000
Program Endangered Species Program Other Funding $36,950
  Total Funding $51,950
The project aims to interpret ecological, biological, genetic and horticultural information to manage existing habitat, establish an ex-situ collection, augment the existing population with cultivated plants, search for new populations and identify habitat suitable for translocation. The main purpose of the NHT funding is to assist with funding for specialist contractors working part time to undertake prevention of further soil disturbance, habitat restoration, measure plant health against habitat management, cultivation of ex-situ population and development of a survey plan for potential sites for new populations.

Implementation of the National Recovery Plan for Trout Cod (phase 2)
Region Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria
Organisation Department of Natural Resources and Environment
Project ID 25410 State ID 200547 C'wealth Funding $40,000
Program Endangered Species Program Other Funding $108,000
  Total Funding $148,000
This will be the 2nd year of implementation of the revised recovery plan (phase 2). The project aims to implement priority actions from the revised recovery plan to achieve stabilising the only remaining population (Murray River), enhancing an existing translocated population (Seven Creeks) and establishing a new population (Ovens River).

Implementation of recovery actions for 18 threatened orchid taxa of southeast Australia
Region Tasmania, Victoria
Organisation Department of Natural Resources and Environment
Project ID 25413 State ID 200550 C'wealth Funding $80,000
Program Endangered Species Program Other Funding $160,000
  Total Funding $240,000
The project will continue implementing recovery actions for 18 nationally threatened orchids of Victoria, south-east SA, and central Tas. The project aims to reduce threats to wild populations, and increase plant numbers in the wild. Establishment of a range of the threatened orchids which will be used as a source for re-introductions to the wild and will conserve the species in the event of total loss in the wild. The project also aims to raise public awareness and foster community involvement in the recovery process.

Conservation Assessment and Recovery Plan Preparation for 16 Nationally Threatened Victorian Orchids
Region Victoria
Organisation Department of Natural Resources and Environment
Project ID 30823 State ID 201339 C'wealth Funding $58,666
Program Endangered Species Program Other Funding $64,613
  Total Funding $123,279
The project will prepare multi-species recovery plans for 16 nationally threatened orchid taxa from Victoria. The plans will provide an updated conservation and threat assessment for each taxon and identify actions required for recovery. Urgent recovery actions will be initiated where deemed necessary.

Conservation Assessment and Recovery Plan Preparation for 45 Nationally Threatened Plants Endemic to Victoria
Region Victoria
Organisation Department of Natural Resources and Environment
Project ID 30824 State ID 201340 C'wealth Funding $100,000
Program Endangered Species Program Other Funding $140,371
  Total Funding $240,371
The project will prepare recovery plans for 45 nationally threatened plant taxa endemic to Victoria. The plans will provide an updated conservation and threat assessment for each taxon and identify actions required for recovery. Urgent recovery actions will be initiated where deemed necessary.

Preparation of a regional phytophthora dieback control plan for Victoria
Region Victoria
Organisation Department of Natural Resources and Environment
Project ID 30831 State ID 201347 C'wealth Funding $47,085
Program Endangered Species Program Other Funding $47,744
  Total Funding $94,829
This project involves the production of a regional plan for the State of Victoria for the control of Phytophthora. This implements a key action of the draft national Threat Abatement Plan.

Weed Warriors - a Community Awareness Program targeting Bridal Creeper
Region Victoria
Organisation Department of Natural Resources and Environment
Project ID 34489 State ID C'wealth Funding $35,000
Program National Weeds Program (EA) Other Funding $70,000
  Total Funding $105,000
The sentiment, "Tell them and they will know, involve them and they will understand" sums up the objectives of this project. Weed Warriors is a community education and awareness project which aims to harness the enthusiasm of students and the general community to participate in local bridal creeper biological control programs. Weed Warriors is based on the successful Bridal Creeper Schools Program conducted in Western Australia by the Cooperative Research Centre for Weed Management Systems. Biological control and community participation in its implementation is recognised as a high priority action within the National Bridal Creeper Strategic Plan. Weed Warriors will make an important contribution to fulfilling the objectives of the Strategy by enhancing the delivery of biocontrol and fostering a community partnership approach which nurtures the educational development of our future land managers.

Protecting the Wimmera's Biodiversity through Bridal Creeper Management
Region Ballarat, Mallee
Organisation Wimmera Catchment Management Authority
Project ID 34490 State ID C'wealth Funding $139,300
Program National Weeds Program (EA) Other Funding $200,000
  Total Funding $339,300
This project aims to accelerate the implementation of Bridal Creeper management in Victoria's Wimmera Region. This will be done to provide urgent protection to the region's high value natural assets, which includes National and State listed Threatened flora and fauna species as well as National Parks and endangered vegetation communities. These high value natural assets are currently under direct threat from significant Bridal Creeper impact. The implementation of this project will provide a foundation for long term management and coordination, and implementation of education /awareness activities and strategic on ground works. The project will involve the development of a Regional Action Plan for Bridal Creeper Management in Wimmera along with on ground works (eradication, containment and maintaining buffer zones for protection) and the delivery of education and awareness programs.

Sustaining Natural Ecosystems - Bass Coast Integrated Bridal Creeper Control Program
Region Dunkley, Flinders, Gippsland, Holt, Isaacs, Latrobe, McMillan
Organisation Phillip Island Landcare Group Inc.
Project ID 34493 State ID C'wealth Funding $53,900
Program National Weeds Program (EA) Other Funding $87,830
  Total Funding $141,730
This project will build on the success of several projects that have targeted bridal creeper control in the Bass Coast region. For the first time, all stakeholders in the region will address bridal creeper in an integrated manner. Landcare and community groups will achieve coordinated bridal creeper control across the region, where it poses serious threats to remnant vegetation and revegetation sites. Small infestations and emerging Asparagus species will be prioritised for eradication, and established infestations controlled. Prior success in bridal creeper control will be shared and extended to groups with less experience. New techniques for managing infestations will be investigated with assistance from Keith Turnbull Research Institute, along with investigating the relationship between bridal creeper and asparagus fern.

Willow Control in Two Key Tributaries of the Gippsland Lakes
Region Gippsland, Indi
Organisation East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority
Project ID 34630 State ID C'wealth Funding $63,400
Program National Weeds Program (EA) Other Funding $76,000
  Total Funding $139,400
This application seeks support for Willow control works in key reaches of the Tambo and Mitchell Rivers in East Gippsland. In these reaches, willows are constricting the stream to such an extent that there is a potential for the rivers to form a land barrier across the floodplain. If this were to occur, there would be significant discharge of sediment into the Gippsland lakes. This would adversely affect the water quality of this Ramsar listed site. The project will focus on both physical removal of problem willows and chemical based treatment of willows in confined reaches. Seeding willows will be removed as the highest priority. Following removal of the willows, the riparian zones will be revegetated with native species. Four priority reaches will be treated (2 on the Mitchell River and 2 on the Tambo River).

Statewide Community Water Quality Monitoring Program (Waterwatch)
Region Victoria
Organisation Department of Natural Resources and Environment
Project ID 11019 State ID 971552S C'wealth Funding $60,000
Program Waterwatch Other Funding $131,000
  Total Funding $191,000
Waterwatch Victoria is a Community Water Quality Monitoring Program that has been operating since 1993. The Waterwatch program is continuing to expand with almost 800 groups monitoring at more than 2300 sites. The statewide Waterwatch program acts as a catalyst and provides an economy of scale in delivering training, development and distribution of education materials, data management tools, action planning models and reporting at a statewide and national level. The vision is to achieve a self-sustaining community based water quality monitoring program in each of the 10 CALP Board areas which the community can use to broadly measure the effectiveness of its regional catchment strategies and plans.
Commonwealth of Australia