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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

7 September 1999

ECHUCA'S THREATENED GRASSLANDS WIN NATIONAL FUNDING


As part of the celebrations for National Threatened Species Day, three rare plant species around Echuca have been given a new lease of life with a $4,189 grant from the Federal Government's Threatened Species Community Grants Scheme.

Federal Member for Murray, Dr Sharman Stone MP, said the Protection of Threatened Grassland Plants Across Campaspe Shire Project was nominated by the local Kayuga/Kanyapella Landcare Group who are particularly concerned about local flowering peas and other grassland flowers under threat from land clearing and development, noxious weeds and grazing.

"It's true to say that 'from little things big things grow', and I am delighted that a local community group from Campaspe will be involved in the national effort to protect our country's magnificent endangered species."

"What makes this project so special is the way the community has joined together with the Commonwealth, State and Local Government to protect and re-establish these rare plant communities," Dr Stone said

The project involves constructing 2 kms of fencing, establishing interpretative signs, conducting an inventory of local plants and the development of long-term management plans across a 200-hectare area.

The threatened species grants are part of the $1.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust Endangered Species Program, which aims to restore threatened and endangered plant species to the wild and prevent further extinctions.

"Australia is one of only 12 'mega-diverse' nations in the world. The vast majority of our native plants and animals are found nowhere else on the planet, making it even more important to protect and cherish them for future generations," Dr Stone said.

In the past two hundred years, Victoria has lost around 60 native species through extinction. A further 500-600 plant and 250 animal species are endangered.

Other projects in Victoria announced today involve the protection of the Trout Cod, Ironbark Forest, the Malleefowl, the Spot-tailed Quoll and the Striped Legless Lizard.

The Protection of Threatened Grassland Plants Across Campaspe Shire Project was selected from a pool of 73 applications nominated from around Australia. Of the $600,000 in national funding available, almost one-quarter, $142,866, was distributed to threatened species projects throughout regional and rural Victoria.

For further please contact:
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415

Commonwealth of Australia