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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage
3 February 1999
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Sharman Stone MP, today officially opened the Moreton Bushcare Support Centre at The Gap in Brisbane.
Mrs Stone said the Moreton Bushcare Centre was ‘a one-stop conservation shop’ managed by Greening Australia Queensland that aimed to provide conservation tips, technical project advice and guidance and information to community groups and landholders in South-east Queensland.
"Bushcare is all about showing the community how to do the ‘hands-on’ work of vegetation protection and restoration," Sharman Stone said. 62 Bushcare Support Offices will be opened around the country, with a full-time staff complement of 112.
In just 6 short months the Moreton Bushcare team and an army of volunteers have:
"This is a remarkable achievement in just a short period of time that demonstrates the value of genuine partnership between government, conservation organisations and the community," Sharman Stone said.
The Moreton Bushcare Support Centre is a Howard Government initiative funded through the $1.25 billion Natural Heritage Trust, the largest environmental rescue package ever by an Australian Government.
Bushcare is the largest single initiative of the trust, devoting $350 million over 5 years to revegetation activities and the protection of native vegetation from unsuitable clearing.
"There are 27 Bushcare projects valued at $1.1 million currently underway throughout South-east Queensland. An army of volunteers throughout the community are actively involved in projects to restore waterways and coastal eco-systems, protect endangered species and restore their natural habitat, and bushland revegetation" Sharman Stone said.
Queensland is responsible for over 80% of Australia’s land clearing rate. In Brisbane alone this equates to three football fields per day.
If current land clearing trends continue, all bushland in coastal South-east Queensland will be cleared by the year 2019. "With extensive clearing still underway, Queensland, more than any other state in the country, needs to raise awareness about the disastrous effects of broad-scale land clearing on our fragile natural resources," Sharman Stone said.
The Federal Government is currently calling for applications for the 1999-2000 round of funding for Natural Heritage Trust projects.
Applications are open to community groups, local and state governments, indigenous organisations, educational institutions, environmental organisations, industry and private sector groups and individuals. Funding is available for Bushcare, Landcare, Rivercare, Farm Forestry, National Reserve, Endangered Species, National Wetlands, Waterwatch and Fisheries Action Programs.
Applications are available by calling your local Federal Member or Environment Australia on Freecall 1800 803 772.
Applications close on 26 February 1999.
For further information contact:
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415
3 February 1999