Australia's National Local Government Newspaper Online
|Editions > 1998 > May > Gold||Wednesday May 22, 2013 - Melbourne Time: 12:26:14|
The Australian Bush Today
Reversing the long term decline in the quality and extent of our native vegetation cover is among the most compelling and ambitious environmental challenges facing Australia. Since European settlement, Australia has lost nearly 70 per cent of all native vegetation. Many of Australia's mammal species and one in five of our plant species are currently rare or threatened.
The core objective of Bushcare is to reverse the long-term decline in the quality and extent of Australia's native vegetation through developing partnerships with local government, landholders, communities, industry and state government.
Under Bushcare the Federal Government will continue to invest more than $360 million over the next three years in projects which will see extensive revegetation and protection of native bushland.
Bushcare is implemented through innovative combinations of direct grants, fencing subsidies, rate relief, management agreements and technical support, to promote activities which;
Local Government and Bushcare in Partnership
The Bushcare programme sees an extremely important role for local government in vegetation management. For the first year of the programme (1997/98) some 11% of the funding was allocated to projects where local government was the project proponent.
A number of initiatives have been embarked upon to progress the involvement of local government in Bushcare.
These include the following
The programme is currently acting on its commitment to further involve local government in Bushcare through:
An example of how Bushcare could work with local government is through fostering a rate relief scheme for landholders who demonstrate a commitment to ongoing vegetation management through covenant or a management agreement.
Bushcare is currently investing in such schemes with Cairns and Johnson Shires in Queensland. Assistance is provided to councils for a transition period so that rate rebates can be built into the zoning and rating system.
For any information on local government involvement in Bushcare, contact ERO's in your State Local Government Association, or Rob Thorman (NLGBF), on (02) 6257 3379 email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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