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$1.8 million boost for Blue Mountains

THE Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (GBMWHA) is set to benefit from a $1.8 million boost as part of the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Developed and managed by Greater Sydney Local Land Services, the project will focus on protecting the natural values of the GBMWHA through the strategic management of pest species.

Greater Sydney Local Land Services Land Services Manager Paul Bennett said the work would adopt a landscape approach to pest animal and weed management with a focus on cross-tenure pest animal campaigns and traditional Aboriginal fire management programs.

“Our officers are not only experts when it comes to weed management and pest animal control, they bring years of local knowledge and experience in the Blue Mountains, good relationships with major landholders as well as the local council,” he said.

“Collaboration is absolutely critical to the success of this project.”

Mr Bennett said the funding would reduce the impacts of feral pigs, goats and deer on private properties and national parklands.

“It will complement our ongoing pest animal control campaigns in the area including our feral pig campaign in partnership with landholders in the Megalong Valley,” he said.

He said the project would also see key weed species targeted including African olive, cats claw creeper and willows.

“These weed threats will be managed in areas buffering the GBMWHA to reduce their spread into high value habitats and threatened ecological communities such as the Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest, Shale Sandstone Transition Forest,” he said.

The project will also see the extension of the Blue Mountains Firesticks program which focuses on evolving Traditional Indigenous Knowledge in the use of fire as a management tool in the environment as well as the continuation of a program to reduce the risk to Aboriginal Cultural Sites including rock shelters.

Mr Bennett said the investment by the Federal Government into the Blue Mountains area was significant.

“The Government’s investment into the beautiful Blue Mountains will support our vital on-ground efforts that bring benefits to our environment, our farms, and our communities,” he said.

This project is supported by Greater Sydney Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and will be run in partnership with Blue Mountains City Council, local Aboriginal groups and environmental volunteers.

ENDS

Media contact: Nikki McGrathph. 02) 4724 2138 M 0448 953 755