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

Sunshine Coast Regional Council

Agreement protects Sunshine Coast wildlife corridor

Joint media release
28 August 2009

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Another parcel of ecologically significant land on the Sunshine Coast will be preserved for future generations under an agreement between the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and the Australian Government.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett said the Rudd Government is pleased to help the council purchase two properties at the junction of the Coolum Creek and the Maroochy River with more than $1.5 million in assistance through the Caring for our Country program

“The National Reserve System is one of Australia’s most effective tools to safeguard our landscapes and native species for future generations and the Rudd Government has increased funding to this vital program by four times what the previous Government had committed,” Mr Garrett said.

“The purchase of these properties helps create a nationally-significant wildlife corridor along the Maroochy River, to help protect a wide variety of plants and animals, including several unique, rare or endangered species – like the black-necked stork, Australian painted snipe and false water-rat.

“These 36 hectares are a significant addition to Australia’s nation-wide network of parks, reserves and private protected areas.”

The purchase by Sunshine Coast Regional Council adds to another two blocks it has acquired, bringing the total area managed by the council at the confluence of Coolum Creek and the Maroochy River to 61 hectares.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbot said the Coolum Creek purchase demonstrated council’s environment levy and policy in action.

“The Environment Levy policy enables us to purchase and protect significant land in our region and attract further funding from other levels of government,” Cr Abbot said.

“The levy allows us to set aside funds for this specific purpose and ensures maximum transparency and accountability because Sunshine Coast ratepayers can see exactly how their money is being spent.”

For more information on the Environment Levy visit www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au 

For more information on the National Reserve System visit www.environment.gov.au/parks/nrs 

Commonwealth of Australia