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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

The Hon Tony Burke MP
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Feral pigs and cane toads targeted in new Rudd Govt funding commitment

Joint media release
20 November 2008

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Projects to reduce feral pigs in Arnhem Land and cane toads are among 12 Territory projects to share in more than $28.5 million from the Rudd Government to protect Australia’s environment and promote sustainable farming. 

Details of the 12 Northern Territory projects to receive funding under the Caring for our Country Open Grants were announced today by Environment Minister Peter Garrett and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke.

The Open Grants funding is part of $2.25 billion earmarked for the first five years of Caring for our Country, launched in July this year.

“Through Caring for our Country, the Government is taking a comprehensive, targeted and integrated approach to natural resource management funding, encouraging organisations to work together to deliver on national priorities,” Mr Garrett said.

“Many of the organisations funded through this Open Grants scheme look beyond their local environmental issues to link up with others to deliver better environment and land management practices on a larger scale.

“The Conserving turtles in Arnhem Land by managing an exotic species project, for example, sees the Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation work with other organisations in the remote area to protect Long-necked Turtles from feral pigs. Long-necked Turtles are particularly vulnerable to being hunted and eaten by pigs during the weeks immediately before the billabongs of Arnhem Land dry up. The numbers of feral pigs are so high Long-necked Turtles face localised extinction unless the population of pigs can be dramatically reduced.

“This project will tackle this problem from all sides. New types of bait will be trialled to reduce pig numbers, turtle management strategies will be evaluated and scientists will develop predictive models to test the likely impact that future climate change, rising sea levels and other variable factors may have on turtle populations,” Mr Garrett said.

Both ministers said climate change and other pressures such as invasive weeds and pests emphasised the need for the government to work in partnership with communities to help ensure the future of Australia’s environment and farming industries. 

Of the 137 Open Grants projects funded across Australia, 72 projects worth approximately $14.4 million address sustainable farm practices and Landcare.

“Farmers really understand the need to protect our precious landscape and ensure it is managed in a sustainable way,” Mr Burke said.

“These projects will help Territory farmers to continue their good work, often in partnership with other local community groups.

“For example, one project to be delivered by the Northern Territory Government will assist landholders, natural resource management organisations and government to preserve areas of high ecological significance on pastoral land in the Northern Territory.

“The program will uncover practical issues that need to be addressed before a landholder commits to a conservation agreement or other conservation measures.”

Further information and a full listing of successful grants is available at 


Project Title Group Funding

Scoping Future Scenarios and Building Innovative Partnerships for Northern Territory Pastoral Lands

Northern Territory Cattleman's Association


Integration of Fire, Feral and Weed Management to Enhance Grazing Productivity, Top End Floodplains

Northern Territory Cattleman's Association


Land Type Specific Sustainable Practice Guidelines for NT Pastoral Lands

Northern Territory of Australia


Asset Protection Decision Support Tools for Pastoralists in Semi-Arid Landscapes.

Barkly Landcare and Conservation Association Inc


Project Title Group Funding

Building Capacity to Establish a Parkinsonia Dieback Biological Control Model

Victoria River District Conservation Association Incorporated


Healthy Pastures - Native Grasses and Fodder Trees in Production Systems

Greening Australia (NT) Ltd.


Zero Toads - Community Control of Invasive Cane Toads in Darwin

Darwin City Council


Conserving Turtles in Arnhem Land by Managing an Exotic Species

Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation


Biodiversity Conservation Values and Management for Northern Territory Islands

Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources Environment and The Arts


Managing the Cane Toad Menace in Tropical Savannas

Riyala Assn Inc


Implementing Priority Recovery Actions for the Bilby and Other Key Threatened Species

Central Land Council


Northern Territory off Reserve Sustainable Country Initiative - Building on the NRS

Northern Territory of Australia


Commonwealth of Australia