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Media Release
Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
&
David Hawker MP
Federal Member for Wannon

18 November 2004

$80,000 Australian Government support for Deen Maar Indigenous Protected Area


A sacred Aboriginal site along the south-west cost of Victoria which is home to one of the world's most endangered bird species will be further protected with $80,000 in funding from the Australian Government for the Deen Maar Indigenous Protected Area (IPA).

Mr Greg Hunt, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, congratulated Framlingham Aboriginal Trust for its efforts in protecting and conserving Deen Maar IPA's natural and cultural values.

"The Deen Maar IPA comprises 453 hectares of rolling sand dunes, limestone ridges, a river, lake and wetlands. The country is home to many wildlife species, including the endangered Orange-bellied Parrot, which has a known population of less than 200 birds," Mr Hunt said.

"There are also a number of sacred Aboriginal sites on the property that have special spiritual significance to the local Aboriginal people."

Major projects scheduled for completion under the funding include revegetation, feral animal control (particularly rabbits, foxes and snails), weed eradication, fire management, improving designated access tracks for tourists and developing interpretation signs.

Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker MP, said Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal land management techniques are being used to conserve Deen Maar.

"This is an exciting approach to landcare. Extensive restoration at Deen Maar is already showing results, with the return of many bird species and the germination of numerous native grasses and herbs previously thought to have disappeared," Mr Hawker said.

"In addition, water flows to the wetlands of the property have been altered, leading to water being retained for longer periods."

The Deen Maar property was purchased in 1993 by the Farmlingham Aboriginal Trust in recognition of the cultural connections the Aboriginal community has with the land, and its potential for development as an eco-tourism destination.

The Indigenous Protected Areas program is a part of the $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust, the largest ever commitment by an Australian Government to environmental management and sustainable agriculture.

"Indigenous landowners are being supported through the IPA program to manage their lands and protect the natural and cultural features in accordance with internationally recognised guidelines for the benefit of all Australians. Over eight years, the IPA program has added 13.8 million hectares of unique ecosystems to the National Reserve System," Mr Hunt said.

For further information on Indigenous Protected Areas, visit www.deh.gov.au/indigenous/ipa

Commonwealth of Australia