From turtle protection and feral pig control in Cape York, to cleaning up beaches across the Fitzroy region, the Morrison Government has announced up to $28 million in funding to support regional jobs and empower reef communities to protect Queensland’s coastal environment.
Funding will be provided under the Reef Trust to support six new on ground projects that help protect our iconic species and improve the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef’s ecosystems.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said that these initiatives will be delivered by people who understand their region and have a proven track record of achieving environmental results.
“The projects are being led by six Reef based Natural Resource Management (NRM) groups through the National Landcare Program Regional Land Partnerships Program, ensuring local knowledge and practical outcomes that help protect on shore environments and the Great Barrier Reef,” Minister Ley said.
“In the Burnett Mary area, sea rangers will work with local communities to protect marine turtles by relocating nests, using cages to deter predators and helping to prevent shoreline erosion to improve water quality.
“Across the coastlines of the Mackay-Whitsundays, invasive pests will be controlled and native vegetation will be restored to protect seabirds and shorebirds. Important beach habitats for marine turtles will also be rejuvenated.
“In Cape York, the community will be supported to monitor turtle nesting sites on priority beaches, install egg protection cages, and control weeds and feral pigs to reduce threats to native species.
“The Wet Tropics region will focus on healthy wetlands and fishways, removing weeds and blockages to ensure fish can have a smooth journey from river to the sea.
“Groups in the Burdekin will install fish ladders in important waterways to help reconnect species like barramundi to the freshwater systems they desperately need to complete their life cycle.
“The Fitzroy region will manage numerous activities including a clean-up of marine debris along the coast, improving regional fire management in the lead up to summer, and controlling feral pigs and foxes.”
Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef Warren Entsch said that this important work will help improve awareness and volunteer engagement in Landcare activities and strengthen partnerships with local communities and Traditional Owners.
“This is about working with people and backing local communities and the result will be cleaner beaches, thriving habitats, healthier coastal ecosystems and species, and a more resilient Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Entsch said.
“Work is already underway with people from local communities getting out and about to safely protect Queensland’s coastlines despite the challenges of COVID-19.”
The new investment complements many others made by the Australian Government to support regions and the environment such as the $443.3 million Reef Trust Partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the $100 million Environment Restoration Fund and the $1 billion investment under phase two of the National Landcare Program.
A package of footage is available here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1y9H0HlLtC3-fbuMHsLWcHfv2Uvq8hI0X