More than $1.4 million in funding is now available to help Queensland’s threatened freshwater aquatic species to recover from recent extraordinary flooding and rainfall events.
The Biodiversity Conservation Grant Program (Flood Recovery) is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DFRA) and will be administered by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES).
Projects based in the Mary River catchment will be given funding priority, with the catchment particularly hard hit by multiple floods.
Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt said the program provided grants of up to $500,000 to eligible organisations for conservation projects that will support the recovery of threatened freshwater aquatic species.
“Significant rainfall and flooding events across the 2021-2022 wet season caused major environmental damage, such as gully erosion, streambank damage and sediment build up, in catchments across Queensland,” Minister Watt said.
“This has resulted in significant damage to the nesting, foraging and habitat areas of some of the state’s most threatened species such as freshwater turtles, lungfish and the iconic Mary River Cod.
“This funding will assist research institutions, natural resource management groups, local governments, First Nations corporations and other not-for-profits groups to develop projects that will help us to understand the extent of the damage on specific habitats and assist in their recovery.”
Queensland Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the health of freshwater species was vital to health of the Mary River catchment.
“That’s what makes this funding and the actions of groups across the region so important,” Minister Scanlon said.
“Funding will be on the table for projects like protecting and restoring strategic habitats, survey and monitoring projects, the development of conservation and recovery plans, or activities that will reduce the impact of pest animals on the threatened species such as nest protection activities.
“It builds on funding announced in our budget of another $14 million to protect our threatened species across Queensland.”
State Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said the Mary River catchment suffered from multiple widespread flooding events which had resulted in significant damage to the critical habitat for a number of at-risk species.
“There’s no Maryborough without the Mary River,” Mr Saunders aid.
“I’m urging groups right across our community who want to take action to put their hand up, and make sure we can have a healthy Mary River.”
Applications for the Biodiversity Conservation Grant Program (Flood Recovery) will be open until Friday 20 January 2023.