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National Media Release
Mr David Hawker, MP
Federal Member for Wannon
Dr Sharman Stone, MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the
Environment and Heritage

8 November 1999


With the incentive of $152,200 in funding from the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust, 12 Landcare Groups, 3 Indigenous organisations and seven community groups have joined together to create a native vegetation Biolink throughout Victoria's South-west.

In Yambuk to meet with local landholders and inspect project sites, Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage and Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker MP, praised the vision and commitment of those involved in the project.

"This is a marvellous example of sustainable natural resource management on a regional scale," Sharman Stone said.

"By joining together to help restore and rehabilitate the landscape the community is helping to create a long-term, healthy and productive region for future generations," Mr Hawker said.

Over the next two years The Greater Glenelg Biolink Bushcare Group aims to plant 120,000 trees, erect 100kms of fencing and direct seed a 200km tree line. 3,500 hectares of native bushland on public and private lands from Coleraine to Warrnambool and west to Heywood will be protected and restored.

The Biolink aims to connect the nationally significant wetlands and Heritage River of the Glenelg River Estuary with Long Swamp and the Yambuk Wetlands.

In addition to revegetation and fencing activities, the group will conduct flora and fauna surveys, pest control, collect 35kgs of locally sourced native seed and hold community field and training days to raise public awareness about natural resource management.

"Rehabilitating the region will establish new habitat for some of Victoria's rarest animals including the Spot Tailed Quoll, Orange Bellied Parrot and Eastern Barred Bandicoot."

"Studies also show that maintaining around 10% of land for conservation purposes also increases productivity. So this project is a win for the environmental and a win for primary producers," Sharman Stone said.

Over the life of the project $368,000 will be invested in the area with funds from the Bushcare program of the Natural Heritage Trust, Greening Australia and volunteer contributions from local landholders.

"These project would not be possible without the outstanding support of the local farming community and regional organisations like Greening Australia and the local CMA. It is a leading example of the type of vision and cooperation that makes the Natural Heritage Trust so successful," Mr Hawker said.

The Greater Glenelg Biolink Project is one of 450 Natural Heritage Trust projects valued at $38.5 million happening throughout Victoria in 1999-2000.

For further information please contact:
Nicole Johnston, Dr Stone's Office, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415
Lisa McDonald, Mr Hawker's Office, 03 5572 1100 or 0407 719 699

Commonwealth of Australia