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Joint Media Release
Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
&
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Hon Warren Truss MP
&
Tasmanian Minister for Environment and Planning
Judy Jackson
&
Tasmanian Minster for Primary Industries and Water
Steve Kons

17 December 2004

$4 Million planted into Tasmania's natural resources


Salinity, tree decline, marine habitats, water quality and threatened species are at the centre of a $4 million Australian Government investment in Tasmania.

The priority funding was announced today by Australian Government Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss, and Tasmanian Ministers for Environment and Planning, Judy Jackson, and Primary Industries and Water, Steve Kons.

Senator Campbell said the funds, which comprise more than $3.8 million from the Natural Heritage Trust and $160,700 from the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality, would address Tasmania's most time-critical environmental issues.

"These dollars will translate into on-ground actions that improve the condition of priority waterways, riverbanks, native vegetation and threatened communities," he said.

"Immediate action will be taken to protect some of the State's most threatened plant and animal species, including the cider gum, freshwater galaxiid, spotted handfish, orange-bellied parrot, wedge-tailed eagle and swift parrot."

Mr Truss acknowledged the importance of industry working with land managers to improve effluent management in key regional catchments.

"Best practices for effluent management will be trialled in key areas to help dairy farmers better dispose of effluent," he said.

Ms Jackson said the funds would initiate valuable resource assessments of priority estuarine and marine habitats, rural tree decline and water quality.

"The investment will enable baseline seabed habitat mapping in marine areas of high to critical conservation significance, reassessment of the extent of rural tree decline through satellite imagery and mapping, and control of stock access to specific waterways and river zones," she said.

Mr Kons emphasised the importance of the estuarine health and productivity project that will monitor environmental flow regimes at Little Swanport estuary.

"This is essential to the maintenance and improvement of productivity of the fishing industry and ecosystem health in Tasmanian estuaries," he said.

More information about the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality is available at www.nrm.gov.au

A full list of projects funded by the Australian Government is attached.

For images of threatened species in Tasmania visit: http://www.deh.gov.au/minister/env/2004/threatened-tas.html

Media contacts:
Wayne Grant (Senator Campbell) 02 62777640 or 0407 845 280
Tim Langmead (Minister Truss) 02 6277 7520 or 0418 221 433
Judy Jackson's office 03 6233 6272
Minister Kons' office 03 6233 8807

Natural Heritage Trust and National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality 2003-04
Investments in the Tasmanian Southern NRM Region
Projects NHT $ NAP $
Understanding groundwater flow systems and processes causing salinity in Southern Tasmania this project will use the Groundwater Flow System Classification and test a conceptual model of groundwater flow systems potentially causing salinity in the Southern part of the NAP region .   160,700
Growing Plants and Communities Together - through the Understorey Network, this project will provide support to the local NRM Facilitators network, technical advice to groups to support projects protecting and restoring threatened species habitat and understorey and conduct workshops and training days. 56,635  
A decision support system for combating tree decline – this project has 4 components: (1) reassessment of the extent of rural tree decline; (2) a decision support system to improve the quality of stands affected by tree decline; (3) a tree decline toolbox to synthesis existing knowledge on management of rural tree decline, and methods for rehabilitation and revegetation; and, (4) a stakeholder engagement program. 193,500  
Mapping of estuarine and marine habitats in the Southern NRM region – this project will conduct a baseline seabed habitat mapping and assessment in five Class A (Critical conservation significance) and nine Class B (High conservation significance) estuaries and in all other estuarine and marine areas in the Southern region not previously mapped. 110,550  
Environmental Flow Regimes for Estuarine Health and productivity - this project will determine the freshwater flow regimes that are essential to the maintenance and/or enhancement of productivity and ecosystem health in Tasmanian estuaries, using the Little Swanport estuary, as a representative estuary of the region. 94,127  
Biological status of the Derwent and Huon estuaries – this project will provide information on the ecology and biological condition of the Huon and Derwent estuaries, which is essential for effective management of these systems. 118,200  
Priority protection measures for Nationally threatened species in the Southern NRM Region – this project will implement accredited recovery plans, undertake conservation assessments and improve habitat security for the Region’s most threatened plant and animal species. 212,500  
Development of a Southern Tasmanian Weed Management Strategy - this project will be carried out in five project stages: 1) identification, analysis and synthesis of existing southern regional weed strategies and associated policies (2) identification of gaps in existing strategies and identification of areas and/ or stakeholders without weed management strategies; (3) community consultation to develop a Regional Weed Management Strategy; (4) production of a consultation draft Regional Weed Management Strategy and (5) production of Southern Regional Weed Management Strategy. 47,700  
Total $833,212 $160,700
Natural Heritage Trust 2003-04
Investments in the Tasmanian Northern NRM Region
Projects NHT funds $
Priority Water Quality and Riparian Vegetation Actions for Northern Tasmania this project will improve control of stock access to specific waterways and riparian zones through fencing of riparian areas, provision of off stream watering points and remedial works to enhance the condition and viability of the riparian, wetland, vegetation and fauna communities involved. 551,500
A Strategic Water Quality Monitoring Network for Northern Tasmania – this project will establish a regional water quality-monitoring program that addresses the gaps in regional water monitoring requirements for the regional NRM strategy, develop existing stakeholder capacity and initiate integration into regional services.  243,800
Best practice dairy effluent management in Tasmania – this project will establish best-practice dairy effluent treatment works in key catchments currently affected by poor effluent management, build educational capacity and integrate with strategic dairy industry planning. 134,600
NRM For Isolated Communities: Building the Capacity of Aboriginal Islanders to Manage their Natural Resources - this activity will engage the Cape Barren Island Aboriginal community in improved management of the Island’s natural resources, using both traditional and non-traditional skills and knowledge, and encourage participation in the regional NRM process. It will create a partnership between the Aboriginal community and NRM North and focus on ensuring full engagement in the development of the Northern Regional NRM Strategy. 56,300
Developing Key Biological Indicators for the Tamar Estuary - this activity will fill knowledge gaps and consolidate existing research in the Tamar Estuary by providing key ecological and environmental parameters. 45,900
Growing Plants and Communities Together - through the Understorey Network, this project will provide support to the local NRM Facilitators network, technical advice to groups to support projects protecting and restoring threatened species habitat and understorey and conduct workshops and training days. 56,635
Priority protection measures for Nationally threatened species in the Northern NRM Region - this project will implement accredited recovery plans, undertake conservation assessments and improve habitat security for the Region’s most threatened plant and animal species. 138,000
Information Support Tools to Underpin Sustainable Land Management – this project will provide a means to integrate resource use, condition and management data for use by land managers and NRM bodies. The project will develop and evaluate the prototype Land Assessment Kit system and scope the requirements and expectations that currently impact on land managers (from regulatory, industry and market perspectives), including an assessment of the implications for possible future extension programs, land-use planning and implementation of environmental best management practices. 85,400
Total $1,312,135
Natural Heritage Trust 2003-04
Investments in the Cradle Coast (North West) NRM Region
Projects NHT $
A Water Quality Monitoring Program and Reporting Framework for the Cradle Coast Region this project will establish a water quality-monitoring program that addresses the gaps in regional water monitoring requirements for the regional NRM strategy, significantly develop existing stakeholder capacity and initiate integration into regional services. 242,274
Best practice dairy effluent management in Tasmania – this project will establish best-practice dairy effluent treatment works in key catchments currently affected by poor effluent management, build educational capacity and integrate with strategic dairy industry planning. 201,700
Biodiversity and degradation in northwestern Tasmanian estuaries –this project will provide habitat mapping, benthic invertebrate fauna data, fish biodiversity data, physical and chemical parameters and water quality data in four estuaries of the region. The chosen estuaries represent a range of ecological conditions and integrity from pristine to degraded habitats. 149,364
Groundwater quality in intensively grazed areas of the Montagu catchment – this project will collect baseline data on groundwater quality under intensive grazing regimes and provide comparison with groundwater quality under less intensive regimes. 24,635
Small Catchment Water Yields Under Current Land uses – this project will address impacts of changing land use on aquatic ecosystem integrity. No such data is presently available for the region. This project will establish a methodology and establish case studies which may then be transferred to other regions. 140,000
Implementation of the West Coast Weed and Fire Management Strategy –this project will facilitate on-ground implementation of existing plans for strategic weed management. It will promote institutional change in the management of NRM by building on cross agency and community co-operation and support. It will lead to the largest on-ground weed management project in Tasmania. 84,550
Priority protection measures for Nationally threatened species in the Northwest NRM Region - this project will implement accredited recovery plans, undertake conservation assessments and improve habitat security for the Region’s most threatened plant and animal species. 154,410
Total $996,933
Natural Heritage Trust 2003-04 to 2005-06
Investments for the State of Tasmania
Projects NHT $
Monitoring and Evaluation Project – this project will develop and implement monitoring, evaluation and reporting systems for natural resource management investments in Tasmania. 342,300
Threatened Species Spatial Layer Development Project – this project will develop and maintain a comprehensive threatened species database that will assist planning and decision-making processes across all levels.  It will ensure that this information is readily available to the public in an effective and user-friendly format. 318,000
Total $660,300

Contacts:
Lee Drummond (Landcare) 03 6233 3151
Imogen Birley (Rivercare) 03 6233 3401
Nicole Middleton (Coastcare) 03 6233 3849
Ruth Temple-Smith (Bushcare) 03 6233 3521

Commonwealth of Australia