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Media Release

Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald
Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister for the Environment

WET TROPICS RECEIVES FUNDING BOOST


11 May 1998

The Howard Government has committed $695,000 to projects designed to protect and manage sites in the Wet Tropics World Heritage area in Far North Queensland.

The Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and North Queensland based Senator Ian Macdonald, welcomed the funding which is part of $2.5 million that has been allocated to Queensland's World Heritage areas.

"The Coalition has delivered significant funding increases to State-managed World Heritage properties from funding that has been made available as part of the Natural Heritage Trust.

"The projects that will now occur because of this funding will protect the internationally significant conservation values of this unique region in Far North Queensland," Senator Macdonald said.

Of the $695,000 that has been made available for the Wet Tropics area, $350,000 will allow for the upgrading of a broad spectrum of walking tracks that will significantly expand the range of walking opportunities available in the area.

$150,000 will be spent to remediate rainforest fragmentation that has occurred because of past activities. These areas possess some of the most complex and diverse rainforests in Australia on very wet basaltic soils. $100,000 is allocated for the identification and initial treatment of weed-infested areas and to undertake follow-up treatment on cyclone damaged forests.

The project will provide $30,000 for approximately 150 pig traps that will be used in National Parks within the Wet Tropics World Heritage area to reduce the damage caused by feral pigs to the rainforest areas.

$65,000 is allocated for the development of a code of best practice for urban water supplies taken from the area. This code will provide local governments with uniform standards for the construction and maintenance of infrastructure and to identify sustainable levels of environmental stream flows to be maintained during the dry season.

"This funding that is to be spent in the Wet Tropics World Heritage area will improve visitor facilities as well as protecting and rehabilitating the environment.

"The projects will allow for visitor access to be improved in an ecologically sustainable way and deliver a major boost to eco-tourism in Queensland," Senator Macdonald said.

ENDS
11 May 1998
For further information contact Philip Connole (06) 6277 3665 or 0411 042 813

Commonwealth of Australia