FNQ wildlife, creeks win in latest natural resources investment

Minister for Resources The Honourable Scott Stewart

The threatened yellow-bellied glider and a creek in historic Irvinebank will benefit from the Palaszczuk Government’s latest investment in protecting the state’s land and waters.

Resources Minister Scott Stewart announced the latest tranche of grants from the state’s four-year $60 million natural resources management investment.

“It’s important to contribute directly to groups that are on the ground as they know are so invested in looking after the natural environment,” Mr Stewart said.

The Far North’s Gulf Savannah, Terrain and Cape York NRM are among seven natural resource management groups sharing more than half-a-million dollars in grants.

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui welcomed the funding which would help protect the environment in Far North Queensland.

“By working with these local natural resource management groups, government can get behind local priorities for building stable and resilient landscapes,” Ms Lui said.

“Queensland’s natural land resources are important for our agricultural, resources and tourism industries which is why it’s important we look after them.”

Terrain will use $84,000 work to clear the invasive weed lantana and protect the habitat of the threatened yellow-bellied glider in Gilbey Forest on the Atherton Tableland.

Teams of locals will clear lantana from a 20-hectare area of tall eucalypt, the glider’s habitat, near Herberton.

Gulf Savannah will use $40,000 to start a long-term project to clean-up the silt-filled McDonald Creek that runs through the historic tin mining town of Irvinebank.

The creek is so shallow it flooded during the wet season, cutting off the road into the town and damaging the creekside park and picnic areas in the town’s centre.

The grant will fund initial scientific studies to identify the source of the silt that has built-up in the creek.

The work will also involve hydrology students from the James Cook University Cairns campus as part of their field studies.

Gulf Savannah will also use more than $130,000 to revegetate a 2.5-hectare habitat corridor and restore a link for wildlife from Abattoir Swamp to Hunter Creek.

They’ll be working with Tablelands Regional Council, local landholders, and the local Mitchell River watershed management group, who manage the swamp to complete the planting, care for the seedlings and maintain the revegetated areas in the future.

Ms Lui said projects like this were important in protecting natural assets in the region.

“It’s the Palaszczuk Government that continues to protect our natural assets,” she said.

“Working with local on the ground groups is important because they know the regions well.”

Cape York, Gulf Savannah, SQ Landscapes and NQ Dry Tropics in the Burdekin will also use grants totalling about $200,000 on systems and software to improve their results, and results for other NRM groups, delivering better value for government funds.

Meanwhile in the south-east corner, Healthy Land and Water will use almost $113,000 to train local Traditional Owners and landholders on Bribie Island and the Gold Coast hinterland in fire management.

All projects will be completed by mid-year.

The funds are part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $60 million over the past four years in protecting the state’s soil and waters. A new $40 million program starts this year.

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