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Joint Media Release
The Hon. Dr Sharman Stone MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray
&
Mr Barry Wakelin MP
Federal Member for Grey

18 August 2004

Support for Mt Serle to develop Indigenous protected area


Mount Serle Station, a culturally significant Aboriginal station in South Australia's northern Flinders Ranges, has received $55,000 funding from the Australian Government to investigate its development as an Indigenous Protected Area (IPA).

Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, congratulated the Yadlhiauda Aboriginal Corporation and the traditional owners for their efforts in protecting and conserving their country.

"Mount Serle Station encompasses 505,000 ha of land ranging from predominantly hilly plains to very mountainous terrain. It includes open scrublands, acacias and large red gums along major creek lines and flood plains," Dr Stone said.

"It is also home to a small colony of endangered Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies and is significant in terms of the Adnyamathanha people's ceremonies, languages and places of cultural values.

The Indigenous Protected Areas program is a part of the $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust, the largest ever commitment by an Australian Government to environmental management and sustainable agriculture. Over five years, the IPA program has added 13.8 million hectares of unique ecosystems to the National Reserve System.

"Indigenous landowners are being supported through the IPA program to manage their lands and protect the natural and cultural features in accordance with internationally recognised guidelines for the benefit of all Australians," Dr Stone said.

"Mount Searle Station provides a strong link between the Adnyamathanha community and the surrounding areas and would be a valuable addition to the National Reserve System."

Dr Stone thanked Federal Member for Grey, Barry Wakelin MP, for his support and commitment to progressing the development of Mount Serle Station as an IPA.

Mr Wakelin said the major concern for the area was feral goats from the northern regions, which have the potential to destroy the vegetation and displace the Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies.

"The funding will allow the Yadlhiauda Aboriginal Corporation to prepare a plan of management for Mount Serle Station, and repair fencing along the eastern boundary to help control feral animals," Mr Wakelin said.

"I congratulate them on securing this funding and look forward to working with the traditional owners as they develop their plans for the declaration of Mount Serle as an IPA."

For further information on Indigenous Protected Areas, see the Australian Government's Department of the Environment and Heritage web site at www.deh.gov.au/indigenous/ipa

Commonwealth of Australia