Conservation on private land will get a big boost thanks to the Marshall Liberal Government’s multi-million-dollar commitment to expand funding for holders of native vegetation Heritage Agreements.
Improving native vegetation on private land protects and enhances biodiversity, improves landscape sustainability through enhanced water and soil condition as well as offering additional tourism potential.
To boost the benefits of improved native vegetation across South Australia, the Marshall Liberal Government has committed $3 million of funding over the next two financial years after the former government slashed annual funding to just $4,000.
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said Heritage Agreements allowed the State Government to work with private land owners to deliver practical environmental outcomes.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to delivering practical environmental outcomes in collaboration with private landholders,” said Minister Speirs.
“Unfortunately, the former Labor Government turned its back on Heritage Agreements reducing the annual funding from $1 million to just a few thousand dollars.
“This is just another example of the former government ignoring South Australia’s regions and something we are fixing.
“Maintaining and improving the condition of native vegetation through investment in management of Heritage Agreements can enhance resilience to climate change impacts over time.
“The Marshall Liberal Government sees the potential in growing the number of Heritage Agreements in South Australia, particularly in areas which create joined up, protected corridors of vegetation at a landscape scale.
“An expansion in support for Heritage Agreement landowners will support our government’s new Landscape SA legislation and its back-to-basics approach.
“This commitment will support Heritage Agreement landowners in the active management of key conservation threats such as feral animals, weeds and wildfire.
“Practical advice and assistance would be provided to Heritage Agreement landowners to plan and effectively implement practical conservation actions.
“The Program would be co-designed in consultation with landholders, primary producers and the conservation sector to maximise outcomes.”
The expanded program will roll out from 1 July 2020.