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Protecting our Natural Resources and the Environment

25th May, 2017

Matthew Groom, Minister for Environment and Parks

The 2017-18 Budget will see the Hodgman Liberal Government continue to invest in programs and works to protect Tasmania’s world class natural and cultural heritage.

Our picturesque State has an international reputation surrounding our unique natural and cultural heritage.

These are assets that we must protect into the future and with the State Budget back on track, we can invest more into protecting our extraordinary natural and cultural environments.

We have committed a total of $3.2 million to support the preservation of the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot. Of this:

  • A total of $2.5 million has been set aside to enable the construction of a new captive breeding facility.
  • We have recently seen some promising results out of the captive breeding program and this funding will go a long way into the rehabilitation of the species.
  • Funding of $170,000 per annum has been provided over four years to enable an increase in the capacity of the program to breed birds in captivity.

Funding has also been committed to protecting aboriginal sites in the TWWHA with:

  • $200,000 per year over four years has been invested to help ensure that significant aboriginal cultural values of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) are appropriately recognised.
  • A Cultural Management Group (CMG) has been established and will work with non-Government aboriginal organisations on the management of cultural values in the State’s TWWHA.

The Tasmanian Government will continue to take action against climate change, with an additional $3 million commitment to deliver a number of new initiatives to respond to a changing climate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Actions will focus on: climate change research, improving energy efficiency, reducing transport emissions and supporting business, local government and communities to take action.

This represents the single biggest investment in action on climate change by any Government since the establishment of the Tasmanian Climate Change Office.

We are also committing funding for land, coastal and river management. This includes:

  • $185,000 over three years to NRM North to support the Tamar Estuary and Esk Rivers Program to improve the health of the estuary.
  • $100,000 to trial a soft erosion mitigation against ongoing, natural coastal erosion processes on Crown Land at Okines Beach, Lewisham.

And to strengthen the financial resources of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Tasmania’s independent environmental regulator, the Government will be introducing an industry based environmental levy on marine farming companies.

The EPA plays an integral part in the regulation of Tasmania’s natural environment and waterways, and this levy will ensure the EPA has the resources to monitor and protect our precious environment, while allowing the industry to operate in a safe and sustainable way.

Furthermore, $100,000 has been committed to consider an appropriate model framework for establishing a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) in Tasmania.