The Greater Blue Mountains will share in $13 million of Morrison Government funding to support habitat and wildlife recovery in the wake last summer’s bushfires.
Minister for the Environment, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, announced the funding allocation in Springwood today, where she and Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, thanked organisations involved in the bushfire recovery process.
Traditional owners, the Blue Mountains Conservation and the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute were among the local organisations that met with Ministers Ley and Payne, relating experiences and learnings. “After meeting with stakeholders at a meeting organised by Senator Payne at Western Sydney University immediately after the fires in February this year, it is really encouraging to now see recovery projects taking shape,” Minister Ley said.
“We are seeing some incredible projects, including Commonwealth-funded work in the Megalong Valley which is bringing hope for the endangered Megalong Valley Bottlebrush.
“Identified as a high priority by the Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel, the re-sprouting plants are the subject of a partnership with the NSW Government’s Saving our Species Program and on-ground activities by Greater Sydney LLS and Blue Mountains City Council.
“Fencing has been used to protect the precious plants and seeds from wild pigs and swamp wallabies at two secret ‘exclosures’ in the Blue Mountains National Park.”
Defined as a new species only 20 years ago, and occurring in only eight sites within one population, the Megalong Valley Bottlebrush occurs in shrubby swamp habitat and swampy woodland beneath the sandstone plateau of the upper Blue Mountains.
Senator Payne said the Morrison Government had delivered over $1 million in funding as part of the first phase of the recovery process.
“Already we have seen funding support provided to preserve and protect endangered species and habitat, like the peat swamps which are home to the Blue Mountains Water Skink,” Senator Payne said.
“The recovery process relies on a small army of tireless conservationists who undertake the fieldwork required to rebuild our Mountains. It was a pleasure to hold an afternoon tea to thank the workforce behind the recovery effort.”
The $13 million investment for the Greater Blue Mountains and other fire affected World Heritage areas in NSW builds on strong Morrison Government bushfire recovery support across NSW and will support the long-term recovery of our native plants, animals and ecological communities following the devastating fires.