Wide Bay’s native flora and fauna will be given a helping hand to recover from last summer’s devastating bushfires, with $461,000 in grants announced by Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien today.
Mr O’Brien said Griffith University would partner with Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee and Burnett Mary Regional Group to assess threatened species’ and aid recovery in burnt coastal wallum wetlands, with a $291,037 grant from the Australian Government’s Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program.
“This project will take place in fire-affected areas including Fraser Island, the Great Sandy Strait Ramsar Wetland and near Peregian Beach, and will survey threatened fish, frogs and crayfish; identify critical habitat, and establish captive breeding colonies of at-risk fish populations to help ensure their long-term survival,” Mr O’Brien said.
“BirdLife Australia will also receive a $170,200 grant to carry out a comprehensive assessment of Mainland Ground Parrots and Eastern Bristlebirds in areas including Fraser Island, so they can identify areas that are in need of critical bushfire recovery efforts.”
Mr O’Brien said it was part of a $200 million commitment from the Liberals and Nationals Government towards the long-term recovery of threatened species, native animals and local habitats, working with ecologists, Indigenous leaders, bushfire experts, scientists, wildlife experts and community organisations to prepare protection strategies.
“People in Wide Bay are rightly proud and protective of the unique wildlife and native plants we have in our beautiful region, and we are all keen to see our environment recover from the recent bushfires that caused so much damage,” Mr O’Brien said.
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Government committed a further $150 million for bushfire recovery for native wildlife and habitat areas in May, in addition to the initial $50 million funding.
“These funds will be invested in bushfire affected regions over the next two years,” Minister Littleproud said.
“This is important to ensure the long-term protection of local flora and fauna, and it is also a vital step in helping our communities recover, so I’m pleased to deliver this commitment from the Morrison Government.”
More information about work to support bushfire recovery for wildlife and habitat is on the Department’s website: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/bushfire-recovery.