10 February 2020
Environment funding welcome and necessary
“The Conservation Council ACT Region today welcomed an additional $7.8m over 4 years of Government funding for better environmental outcomes in the ACT announced as a mid-year budget boost,” said Helen Oakey, Executive Director of the Conservation Council ACT Region.
“More funding for our environment is always welcome, and particularly after this summer’s bushfires, it’s good to see the Government’s acknowledgement of the importance of local wildlife and habitats.
“Biodiversity can easily be forgotten amongst competing budget needs, but recent fires have served as a reminder to all of us about how important it is to invest in natural areas for their own value, as well as the value that they provide to us as a community.
“Our nature parks and waterways provide environmental services to the community, as well as benefits to mental and physical wellbeing, but are also home to endangered species and habitats that we need to protect.
“The Council particularly welcomes funding toward ACT Waterwatch activities that are undertaken by local catchment groups. This funding is an important acknowledgement of how much work to protect nature is undertaken by on-ground volunteers in the ACT.
“While three-year Waterwatch funding is welcome, it would also be great to offer the same certainty to landcare activities that currently only have one year of funding.
“This announcement is a step towards providing sufficient funding to meet the many actions identified in the grassland strategic plan, but the ACT Government must also consider resourcing the many other management plans, such as those for woodlands and riparian areas, to ensure environmental objectives are met.
“The Conservation Council looks forward to finding out more about how the funding announced today will be allocated across programs to deliver the best environmental outcomes for the Territory.
“In the longer term, we need adequate funding that will enable the ACT Government and community to not only maintain our natural environment, but also protect and improve outcomes for our local flora and fauna,” said Ms Oakey.
Helen Oakey, Executive Director, Conservation Council ACT Region, 0402 052 777
Canberra Times news story: Threatened grassland earless dragon aided by ACT government protection fund