FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said funding announcements of almost $2 million under the 20 Million Trees Programme will establish green corridors, as well as increasing and improving habitat for threatened species in the New England Electorate.
Two projects will share the funding both focussed on the priority of revegetation within the conservation estate.
The service provider managing one of the programs will be CO2 Australia, which will receive $1,166,070 and result in the planting of 520,000 trees.
The other program will be a multiple-location project run by Greening Australia that will undergo rehabilitation of ex-farming land in National Parks in the Electorates of New England, Eden-Monaro, Riverina, Cowper and Parkes. It will receive $750,000 to enable the planting of 300,000 trees.
Mr Joyce said the funding announcement was welcome as it would play an important role in providing important habitat for endangered fauna in the New England Electorate, including the Regent Honeyeater and Tiger Quoll.
“Reconnecting stands of remnant vegetation will improve fauna movement and genetic flow,” Mr Joyce said.
“Not only are we working on improving returns for those who work on the land, but we’re working to improve the land in sustainable terms,” he said.
CO2 Australia Director Dr James Bulinski said his organisation would be rolling out a major new tree planting and revegetation initiative across the region over the next two years. The project being lead by CO2 Australia will focus on re-establishing key threatened vegetation communities into the northern tablelands and surrounding regions.
“We are very excited to be involved in this important project,” Dr Bulinski said.
“The Northern Tablelands is home to many significant plant and animal species, many of which don’t occur anywhere else in the world – so its an ideal place to look to restore important vegetation communities and wildlife habitat”.
The project will see over half a million trees planted by 2018, using a mix of private and public lands. Plantings will be designed in a way that is complimentary to existing land uses, including farming activities, so that benefits are delivered for both environmental and agricultural management.
Dr Bulinski said there are opportunities for the community and local service providers to get involved, through either hosting plantings on their land, working with CO2 Australia on the on-ground delivery, or attending information sessions and workshops being organised around the project.
“We are very keen to hear from anyone that might be interested in getting trees planted on their land, or who would like to actively get involved in the program in some way,” Dr Bulinski said.
On-ground activities are scheduled to commence later this year, with the first trees to go in during 2016. In total, the Australian Government has committed $50 million to the Programme to fund the planting of 20 million trees by year 2020.