Grants for Wildlife and Habitat Devastated by Fire

09th Apr 2020

Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said individuals and organisations at the centre of protecting our native species could now receive additional Federal Government support to help with the recovery of wildlife and habitats following the devastating bushfires.

“We are making sure people, flora and fauna are offered the best solutions so the economy can get up and running again,” Mr Joyce said.

“Even as Australia deals with the challenges of the coronavirus, the importance of addressing the loss of countless iconic wildlife and habitats through fires remains an important focus.

The Coalition Government has allocated up to $12 million for a new round of grants to support the continued efforts of those on the frontline of bushfire recovery in New England.

“Despite COVID-19 precautions restricting some field work, work is taking place under the Coalition Government’s $50 million Wildlife and Habitat Recovery Package,” Mr Joyce said.

Minister for the Environment, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, said key focusses include  work to ensure the continuation of feral animal, pest and weed control, animal relocation and zoo programs, habitat stabilisation, using camera traps to detect native species and predators alike and detailed recovery planning through the Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel.

“It is important that we continue to fund activities to support the survival of fire‑affected animals, plants, ecological communities and other natural assets,” Ms Ley said.                      

The $12 million funding, part of the Australian Government’s initial commitment of $50 million for a bushfire recovery package may be used for on-ground bushfire recovery activities, including:

  • protecting unburnt areas within or adjacent to recently burnt ground that provides for refuge;
  • feral predator and herbivore control to reduce the pressure on native species;
  • emergency salvage of plant and animal species for ex-situ conservation or wild-to-wild translocation;
  • rapid on-ground assessment for species and communities of concern;
  • supplementary shelter and food for animals, where it is still needed.

Mr Joyce said COVID-19 restrictions mean that some activities will not be able to start immediately but the process of identifying submissions and planning their role in what is a long-term recovery process is an important one.

To ensure organisations are given enough time to apply, grants will be staged over two tranches, with the first opening on 1 April, 2020 and closing on 22 April, 2020. Tranche 2 is anticipated to open on 23 April, 2020 and close on 28 May, 2020.

Eligible projects will be considered by the Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel which will provide advice to the Department and the Minister.

To find out more visit: www.grants.gov.au

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