Letter to the Prime Minister of Australia – potential COVID-19 economic stimulus measures in conservation and land management

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A letter to the Prime Minister of Australia endorsed by 80 landcare, farming and conservation groups that provides a bridge to recovery jobs package to help with the recovery once it starts.

It provides ideas on the constructive role that the conservation and land management sector could play in immediate, medium and long-term economic stimulus efforts.

Worth $4 billion over four years it would include a surge in weed and feral animal control efforts, which are critical to protecting our threatened native species.

Investment in a jobs-rich conservation and land management program, as part of broader economic stimulus measures, presents important opportunities for safe, meaningful and socially beneficial work during the period of economic crisis, while leaving enduring benefits for the environment, tourism and farm businesses.

Practical conservation activities that could be undertaken across public and private land include:

  • A surge in weed control efforts, focussed on containment and preventing cross-tenure spread.
  • River and wetland restoration, including fencing, revegetation and erosion control.
  • National park infrastructure, track maintenance and park management (fire, weeds, feral animals).
  • Bushfire recovery and resilience activities, including infrastructure repairs and habitat restoration.
  • Invasive animal control, including deer and pigs which impact on farming and threatened species.
  • Tree planting and habitat restoration in metropolitan, suburban, peri-urban and rural areas.
  • Funding for private land conservation, putting money in the hands of farmers and other land managers.
  • Coastal habitat restoration and monitoring, in partnership with the fishing industry and local communities.
  • Plastics and marine debris clean up, including research to inform future policy decisions.
  • Funding for Indigenous rangers to deliver jobs directly to vulnerable communities using a proven model.

The letter was also sent to all state and territory premiers and chief ministers.

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Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area is under threat from deer. The Tasmanian Government knows deer are invading this global treasure but is doing nothing about it.