Cape York NRM Joins Call for $4b Land Management and Conservation Package
Cape York NRM has joined over 70 natural resource management, farming and conservation organisations in a call for a $4 billion stimulus package for the land management and conservation sector.
In an open letter to the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers, organisations including Natural Resource Management Regions Australia, Landcare Australia and Country Needs People, outlined a proposal which would see 24,000 workers undertake land management and conservation activities such as pest and weed management, coastal habitat restoration, marine debris management, and bushfire zone restoration.
Cape York CEO John Gavin said investment in land management and conservation would provide a valuable legacy for Cape York and the rest of the nation.
‘Cape York, as anyone who has visited it, or lives here, knows, is an extremely special place, which is why we need to look after it. If governments support this proposal, there are a range of activities which would benefit the Cape including enhancing Indigenous Ranger programs, pest and weed management, revegetation, plastic and marine debris management, tourism infrastructure maintenance, erosion control, and wildlife reserve restoration and maintenance.’
Mr Gavin said investment in land management and conservation jobs could benefit many of those who have been rendered jobless as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.
‘We are entering a period of high unemployment due to the COVID – 19 pandemic,’ he said.
‘The conservation and land management work, the demand, is there – we are calling on the state and federal government to support supply once restrictions are eased.
‘If governments support this proposal, it will reduce unemployment, build workers’ capacity, and improve the trajectory and resilience of our natural environment, farmland, and tourism destinations.
‘There is also a broader social and economic benefit to this proposal - investing in jobs in rural and regional Australia boosts local economies. Investment in land management and conservation jobs would bring much needed support to rural communities doing it tough as a result of drought, bushfires, and the Coronavirus pandemic.
The proposal outlines a range of land management and conservation activities including:
- A surge in weed control efforts, focussed on containment and preventing cross-tenure spread;
- River and wetland restoration, including fencing, revegetation and erosion control;
- National park infrastructure, track maintenance and park management (fire, weeds, feral animals);
- Bushfire recovery and resilience activities, including infrastructure repairs and habitat restoration;
- Invasive animal control, in particular feral pigs, which impact on farming and threatened species;
- Tree planting and habitat restoration in metropolitan, suburban, peri-urban and rural areas;
- Funding for private land conservation, putting money in the hands of farmers and other land managers;
- Coastal habitat restoration and monitoring, in partnership with the fishing industry and local communities;
- Plastics and marine debris clean up, including research to inform future policy decisions; and
- Funding for Indigenous rangers to deliver jobs directly to vulnerable communities.