CALLS for more native wildlife habitat and vegetation have been answered by the state government in the form of immediate funding for Tamworth Regional Landcare.
The organisation is set to receive $11,000 of funding through the state government’s Save Our Species (SOS) program, which will go towards planting more trees and vegetation for native wildlife in the coming months.
A recent Fairfax Media poll showed 44 per cent of voters would like to see more habitat for native wildlife created through the state government’s $44 million koala strategy.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said the latest funds would help build on the solid work already under way through the SOS program.
“Gunnedah landholders are passionately taking part in several projects partnering with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to protect and build the local koala population,” Mr Anderson said.
“This funding will enable the Tamworth Regional Landcare Association to secure the development of further re-vegetation projects to link and extend prime koala habitat in the Gunnedah shire.
“This funding builds further on an earlier $95,000 project announced in March, also provided under SOS with the Landcare Association, to identify priority areas on private land re-vegetation.”
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Gunnedah koala activist Martine Moran said any help for native wildlife was a positive.
“This is fantastic to see,” Mrs Moran said.
“That kind of money will certainly plant a lot of trees provided we get some rain so they can be planted.”
Mrs Moran said all animals would benefit from the added vegetation.
“This won’t just help koalas – I think everything will benefit,” she said.
“In my opinion it is great to see a volunteer organisation like Landcare getting a hand like this.”
The funding follows recent invitations from the state government for landholders to apply for funding through SOS.
“Gunnedah is well known as the national koala capital and we’re working hard to reinforce that reputation,” Kevin Anderson said.
“I want to encourage anyone thinking of taking part in this initiative to get involved and apply for a share of some of the funds that the state government has committed to this program over the coming years.”
Ms Moran said the program was a great way for landholders to do their bit for the environment.
“If someone out there has the ways and means of being involved in this program and is thinking of doing it, I strongly encourage them to do so,” she said.
“The beauty of these habitat projects is that while we may be gone, the animals will continue to benefit.
“Really, every little bit helps.”
Mr Anderson said the habitat funding was another example of the state government’s commitment to the koala capital.
“In the recent NSW Budget, the government continued significant financial investment with the announcement of a $6.48 million new generation koala park and education centre, a proposal put forward by Gunnedah Shire Council,” he said.
“The park would also exhibit other native animals and operate as a small scale wildlife park/native animal hospital.
“Education and learning would be central to the experience, conveying a message of conservation and raising awareness of the plight of the inland koala.
“It will create up to 20 jobs and attract 90,000 visitors a year to the koala capital.
“This latest $11,000 project is also in addition to the Blinky Drinkers project, which is another innovative program underway in our area providing water stations in core habitat areas for thirsty koalas.”
For more information regarding SOS, visit www.environment.nsw.gov.au