Coalition pledges millions towards conservation projects
DOING the right thing by the environment was the name of the game when Agricultural Minister David Littleproud stopped into Rockhampton on Monday.
Mr Littleproud joined Capricornia MP Michelle Landry to inspect a local conservation project on the banks of the Fitzroy River and announce funding for a number of other conservation projects.
Observing the progress by the Fitzroy Basin Association on major riverbank revetment works on the Fitzroy River, upstream from Rockhampton, Ms Landry was amazed.
"Protecting the reef from sediment and maintaining a stable bank to help the landholder keep the land they have,” Ms Landry said.
Mr Littleproud revealed $1.56 million in funding for three projects under the National Landcare Program.
Greening Australia would receive $550,000 for two projects with $350,000 for webpage putting farmers in contact with volunteers who will help them plant trees or do other environmental work and $200,000 for trialling drones to scout for good spots to plant trees on farms, and monitor tree health.
Another $550,000 measure for Conservation Volunteers Australia would allow them to provide Landcare Communities management and administrative support and allow Landcare staff to get out of the office and get their hands dirty.
"A third grant of $460,000 will go to NRM Regions Australia so they can get more farmers certified for their sustainable farming practices,” he said.
In addition, Mr Littleproud announced a $30 million pilot Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Program where farmers were paid for both improving biodiversity and absorbing carbon.
$4 million would go towards creating a national and internationally recognised biodiversity certification scheme, helping biodiversity-friendly farmers get an extra premium for their product at the checkout and when they trade with other countries.