MEDIA RELEASE – 1 May 2017:
Victoria’s 2017-18 budget includes some important nature protection initiatives and should kickstart the long-term rebuilding of the state’s capacity to look after its unique natural environment.
“Funding for nature protection has been at record lows and so some important measures in today’s budget will begin to rebuild our capacity and leadership in this area,” the Victorian National Parks Association’s executive director Matt Ruchel said today.
“Significant funding for the recently-released Biodiversity Plan 2037 and increased short-term core funding for Parks Victoria are welcome, but our magnificent national parks estate needs more secure and far more substantial long-term core funding.
“Significant funding gaps include no new and explicit commitments for the creation of the Great Forest National Park to protect the critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum.”
Nature-related highlights of the Victorian budget include:
- $86.3 million over four years for much-needed nature protection and biodiversity work identified in the Biodiversity Plan 2037.
- $31.8 million increase in Parks Victoria funding, mostly over two years, with the bulk to be spent on much-needed core operations such as rangers.
- $22.8 million for new additions to Victoria’s national parks estate.
- $7.2 million for management of marine and coastal environments.
- $33 million for improved forest and wildlife regulation.
- $110 million for establishing new plantations to continue the transition of the timber industry away from native forests.
- $19.2 million towards the eradication of invasive red fire ants.
- $162.5 million to rebuild Environment Protection Authority Victoria.