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Joint Media Release
Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
&
Senator the Hon Paul Calvert
President of the Senate
Senator for Tasmania

22 November 2004

$140,000 Australian Government support for Oyster Cove and Risdon Cove indigenous protected areas


Two culturally significant Aboriginal sites near Hobart are to be conserved with $140,000 in funding from the Australian Government for the Oyster Cove and Risdon Cove Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs).

Mr Greg Hunt, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, congratulated the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre for its efforts in protecting and conserving the Coves' natural and cultural values.

"Oyster and Risdon Coves are among 11 areas returned to the Tasmanian Aboriginal community under the Aboriginal Land Act 1995. These areas include important Aboriginal artefact sites, areas of remnant bush, open paddocks and estuarine and riparian environments," Mr Hunt said.

"Both areas have been extensively modified since settlement with clearing of vegetation and the introduction of weed species. On-ground management activities—including weed and feral animal control, revegetation programs, visitor management and maintenance of visitor facilities—have been carried out under the IPA program to address these issues."

Tasmanian Senator, the Hon. Paul Calvert, said work undertaken in Oyster and Risdon Coves has had an emphasis on environmental rehabilitation and sustainable land use.

"Project highlights have included community tree plantings, the establishment of a vegetation corridor, and continued removal of willows at Risdon Cove and large radiata pines at Oyster Cove," Senator Calvert said.

Senator Calvert said the Coves were culturally important as sites of unique cultural heritage.

"Oyster and Risdon Coves include the first British settlement and the last known Aboriginal camp before transfer to the Bass Strait islands and this gives them great importance as sites of unique cultural heritage," Senator Calvert said.

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," Mr Hunt said.

"Over eight years, the IPA program has added 13.8 million hectares of unique ecosystems to the National Reserve System."

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

Commonwealth of Australia