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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

7 November 2001

Better Fire Management for Arnhem Land

The Howard Government has announced a further $330,000 in funding support for better fire management practices in the Pine Creek, Arnhem Plateau and Central Arnhem bioregions.

"These regions are remarkable in their biodiversity, environment, and cultural values - and they are all in a relatively pristine state," Federal Environment and Heritage Minister Robert Hill said today.

The Federal Government has, for the past three years, been supporting the Northern Land Council, the Northern Territory Bushfire Council and the Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Savannahs, in working with traditional owners to improve fire management.

Funding for this latest project will allow the experience of West Arnhem Land to be extended to areas between Bulman, Ngukurr in South-West Arnhem Land, together with Arnhem Plateau lands midway between Katherine and Maningrida, to be covered.

"It is believed that better fire management has significantly reduced the extent, frequency and intensity of wild fires," Senator Hill said.

"Early season patchwork burning has achieved significant on-ground biodiversity benefits in sensitive Arnhem Land ecosystems - and it has also helped to reduce greenhouse emissions.

"The project has encouraged and supported indigenous cooperation on land management issues and in particular, the indigenous ranger movement."

Senator Hill congratulated the indigenous owners and their advisers on what is proving to be a particularly worthwhile project.

Wednesday, November 7, 2001

Media Contact:
Belinda Huppatz 08 82377920 or 0419 258364

İ Commonwealth of Australia