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  • Writer's pictureHannah Phillips

Help Protect the Mallee With CMA Incentives

The Mallee Catchment Authority (CMA) is inviting local residents to apply for their 2017-18 Southern Mallee Revegetation Program and the Mallee Biodiversity Incentive Program.

Both programs provide Mallee farmers with financial and practical support to improve habitat on property, all while protecting local threatened and endangered species.

Mallee CMA Chair, Sharyon Peart, said the programs assist farmers with revegetation works, fencing and weed control to protect on-farm wildlife habitat.

“We’ve offered similar programs over the last four years and we always get a terrific response from farmers.

“They appreciate the benefits to the landscape and to the local native wildlife that come with the revegetation and biodiversity programmes and a little financial and practical support is often all they need to get started,” Ms. Peart said.

The programs offer funding for two target areas – Wathe target area, on the eastern fringe of Wyperfeld National Park and the Avoca target area, which is in the south eastern Mallee.

Wathe target area incorporates farmland around Wyperfeld National Park, the Wathe and Paradise Flora and Fauna Reserves and the Patchewollock State Forest.

The Avoca target area incorporates 378,700 hectares of predominantly dryland farming area around Birchip, Sea Lake, Lake Tyrrell, Wahpool, Timboram and the Lalbert, Tyrrell and Dunmunkle Creek Systems.

The projects are supported by the Mallee CMA, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

Ms Peart said the initiatives aimed to protect threatened flora, fauna and vegetation listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

“The Wathe area is one of the breeding and feeding grounds for the Mallee Fowl and it’s also a feeding area for the Regent Parrot, which migrates in to feed on local grass seeds and herbaceous plants.

“In the Avoca area, we’re aiming to protect more of the local Buloke Woodlands and provide additional habitat for the Plains Wanderer. There are also two vulnerable local plant species we are working to protect the perennial shrub Chariot Wheel and the Slender Darling Pea.”

Ms Peart said the revegetation projects would be important progress in improving links between existing patches of vegetation.

Under the revegetation program the Mallee CMA forms a partnership with the farmers, with the CMA providing tube stock and seed for plantings or direct seeding, while the landholders’ are responsible for site preparation, including weed control, ripping and watering.

Subsidies are also available for the installation of fencing to protect the revegetated area.

Applications for the 2017-18 Mallee Biodiversity Incentive Program close Friday September 1st, and must be made by lodging an expression of interest form.

Further information is available by contacting Mallee CMA Project Officer Cameron Flowers on 0427 509 663.

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