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

14 June 1999

NHT ENVIROCARE PROJECT TARGETS WILDLIFE CORRIDOR


With help from the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust, a major wildlife and bushland corridor is undergoing vital regeneration, linking Wet Tropics rainforest to the north and south of Kuranda to protect FNQ's endangered animals and native plants.

In Kuranda to visit the wildlife corridor and meet with local volunteers, Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, praised the efforts of the Kuranda EnviroCare Association in getting the project up and running.

"I am very impressed by the collegiate approach of the Kuranda community. It is fantastic to see local community, Landcare and conservation groups, and a Green Corps team, working as-one to revegetate and protect this unique wildlife corridor."

"In particular, the rainforest corridor will provide vital habitat for the critically endangered Southern Cassowary, which is under threat from encroaching urban development."

As part of the project volunteers will:

EnviroCare plan to revegetate an area of some 2000 ha, planting an estimated 70,000 trees to create a corridor 'safe-haven' 2kms wide and 10 kms in long.

"Collecting locally harvested native seed is vitally important to preserve the region's unique flora. Because it has already adapted to local climatic, hydrological and soil conditions it has the best chance of survival once planted. It also provides essential food for native wildlife and helps to reduce erosion," Sharman Stone said.

To date the project has received widespread community support and interest with a Green Corps team working on-site, school demonstrations and potting and seed collection seminars, involving tourists and the Kuranda community, held regularly at the EnviroCare centre.

A monthly EnviroNews newsletter is also helping to raise awareness about the need to protect this valuable bushland and wildlife corridor and the vital community conservation works.

The project commenced in 1997-98, and to date has received $145,000 in Federal Government funding through the Natural Heritage Trust. A further $75,000 has been sought as part of the 1999-2000 funding round.

Over the life of the project, works are expected to total around $485,000.

The $1.25 billion Natural Heritage Trust is the largest environmental rescue package ever undertaken by an Australian Government. For further information or to apply for funding please contact the Natural Heritage Trust freecall hotline on 1800 065 823.

For further information please contact:
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415
or Ms Jax Bergersen, Secretary EnviroCare, 07 4093 7570

Commonwealth of Australia