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Farmers, have your say on wildlife corridors

8 March 2012

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is calling on farmers and rural landholders to contribute to the consultation phase of the Draft National Wildlife Corridors Plan.

NFF President Jock Laurie says that it is imperative the Plan, which outlines how the Government may establish and manage a national network of wildlife corridors across Australia, takes into account the important role that farmers play as environmental stewards.

“The Draft Plan shows that farmers manage 72 percent of Australia’s land and are at the frontline in delivering environmental outcomes on behalf of the community – so it is crucial that farmers have their say,” Mr Laurie said.

“For farmers, three things are important - that the Draft Plan does not result in more red tape or regulation around what happens on farms; that land title will not be changed as a result of a wildlife corridor declaration; and that farmers will not be forced into any conservation action under the proposed Plan, meaning that all actions undertaken by farmers are voluntary.

“There is an opportunity for farmers and private landholders to receive funding under the Draft National Wildlife Corridors Plan for ecosystem and biodiversity management – which goes some way to farmers being rewarded for the work they do in protecting Australia’s natural environment.

“One area that is of particular concern for the NFF and our members is the management of invasive animals, plants, fire and other risks within the wildlife corridors. We have called for a greater focus on invasive species and fire under round one of the Biodiversity Fund, and will continue to work with Government to ensure this commitment is made through the corridors plan.

“It’s crucial that farmers and landholders to have their say on the Draft Plan by contributing to the consultation phase, which is open from now until 20 April 2012 via the Department for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC),” Mr Laurie said.

For more information or to contribute to the consultation phase of the Draft Plan, contact SEWPaC on 1800 803 772. Farmers wishing to seek advice on environmental management and the application of environmental law to their properties are encouraged to contact NFF Environment Liaison Officer, Jol Taber, on 1800 704 520.

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