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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage

8 October 1999


Bush Brokers an innovative new Perth Bushcare project combining the expertise of the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia hit the market today with the announcement of $87,000 in funding from the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust.

The project was 'listed' in Perth today by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Sharman Stone MP, and Federal Member for Curtin, Julie Bishop MP, who said they hoped the project would help to raise the market value of native bushland, making it more valuable to conserve than clear.

The Bush Brokers partnership aims to develop and promote market-based mechanisms to increase the private acquisition of land for nature conservation.

Over the next year the Bush Brokers will:
  • increase the amount of land purchased and managed for conservation,
  • stimulate market interest by linking buyers and sellers with a common goal,
  • develop training course for real estate agents and other interested parties,
  • promote sustainability through planning processes,
  • develop stronger links between rural based Landcare and urban based skills,
  • establish a case study and examine the feasibility of 'bush brokering' nationally.

"This really is a case of thinking outside the box; looking at how business, conservationists and property owners can work collaboratively to protect Western Australia's unique native bushland into the next millennium. Congratulations to all those involved in putting this cutting-edge project together," they said.

"This project really is a 'great buy'. Like any good investment it can only appreciate over time, with spin-offs for the community and the environment."

"The project has the added advantage of helping to reduce and prevent dry-salinity that has already degraded over 1.8 million hectares of Western Australia."

"Preserving and enhancing native bushland will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide shade and shelter for stock, and provide habitat and food for native birds and animals."

"The Federal Government is currently developing guidelines for a tradeable carbon credits market and, recently introduced new tax incentives for land purchased for conservation."

"Many local councils around Australia are now providing rate-rebates for land managed for conservation purposes, and farmers are rediscovering the productivity benefits of fencing out their remaining remnant vegetation."

The Bush Brokers project is part of the Federal Government's $10 million investment in Bushcare projects throughout Western Australia in 1999-2000. Bushcare is one of 17 programs, which make up the Federal Government's $1.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust.

For further information please contact:
Nicole Johnston, Sharman Stone's office, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415
Lisa Lehman, Julie Bishop's office, 08 9388 0288 or 0417 926 911

Commonwealth of Australia