Judy Edwards

Judy Edwards

Former Minister for the Environment; Science

    Regional conservation projects given high priority

    11/10/2005 12:00 AM

    Department of Conservation and Land Management staff normally based in the South-West are being deployed to other regions of the State to undertake a number of conservation projects.

    Environment Minister Judy Edwards today said the $780,000 program was in line with the department’s recently released Good Neighbour Policy, which aimed to strengthen partnerships between CALM and the 10,000 landowners whose properties joined CALM-managed lands.

    The initiative involves sending CALM personnel from the State’s three forest regions between Mundaring and Walpole to other districts for a range of conservation works in nature reserves, conservation parks and national parks, in the north and the interior of the State, as well as in the Wheatbelt and the south coast with the focus on feral animal and weed control.

    “Other projects include monitoring native plants and animals, native seed collection, planting seedlings, signage, rubbish cleanup and track maintenance,” Dr Edwards said.

    “On former pastoral leases acquired for addition to the conservation estate, the work would include erosion control and cleaning up homesteads.

    “CALM has a group of people already in the Mid-West undertaking rangelands restoration work. This includes homestead cleanups, fence maintenance and creating firebreaks.

    “Eight CALM employees from Harvey and Collie are camping out in the Kimberley region for six weeks doing nature conservation work at Geikie and Windjana gorges in the West Kimberley and controlling weeds in the East Kimberley.

    “Tasks include feral animal control, fencing and maintaining threatened ecological communities.

    “By using its South-West workforce in a creative way, CALM can make a real difference in areas where important conservation projects need additional labour resources.”

    The Minister said approximately 40 employees would work on selected projects for about 12 weeks each year.

    “The projects will deliver several benefits,” she said.

    “Not only do we get important nature conservation gains in areas outside the South-West, but CALM’s staff will also gain a better understanding of the environments and ecology of those areas.

    “There will be benefits to CALM’s neighbours in both the agricultural and pastoral zones through reduced impacts on those lands from feral animals, weeds and wildfires. This will reinforce CALM’s commitment to its recently announced Good Neighbour Policy.”

    Dr Edwards said that most of the employees would return to their home districts in the South-West well before the peak of the fire season.

    Minister's office: 9220 5050