$153,000 boost for Wagga Wagga environment

Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton joined Liberal Candidate for Wagga Wagga Julia Ham to announce more than $153,000 would go to Wagga Wagga City Council and the Riverina Highlands Landcare Network for 2 projects that will protect, restore and enhance the local environment.

The squirrel glider (Petaurus norfolcensis), listed as vulnerable in NSW, is an example of a landscape-managed species

"Council and the Landcare Network are among 46 community groups and government entities across NSW successful that've shared in $4 million worth of funding to undertake projects that protect, restore and enhance the environment."

"This will help protect ecological important parts of the Riverina Highlands by creating a series of biodiversity 'stepping stones' across the landscape, near Tumut," Ms Upton said.

"A key component of the $100,000 project will be helping landholders identify significant stepping stone corridors for wildlife and how to work together to improve ecological function across the Riverina Highlands.

"Wagga Wagga City Council will also receive $53,000 to install glider poles in the Birramal Conservation Area located on the city's southern outskirts, protecting remnant white box woodland, crucial habitat for a variety of native flora and fauna, including the threatened Squirrel Glider (Petaurus norfolcensis).

"This project will establish strategically placed poles and a rope bridge so gliders can move between the scattered clumps of woodland in the 127 hectares Birramal Conservation Area.

"This is a great outcome for the local environment, and demonstrates the NSW Government's commitment to finding resourceful ways for people and organisations to tackle local environmental issues," Ms Ham said.

"Local communities invaluable knowledge and a strong passion for their local bushland, wildlife, heritage and ecological sustainability.

"These grants acknowledge and support these on-ground works and together these projects form a network of environmental initiatives making a real difference," Ms Ham said.

Minister Upton congratulated Council and the Landcare Network for securing the funds under the 2018 NSW Environmental Trust's Restoration and Rehabilitation Grant Program; saying the project would result in significant environmental benefits for the local community.

"Our Landcare network is excited about the opportunity that this funding project will provide," said Paul Roche, chairman of Riverina Highlands Landcare Network.

Small features of our landscape such as paddock trees, farm dams and rocky outcrops will be protected and restored thanks to this funding injection.

"In particular, the loss of paddock trees, which are important not only for providing shade for our livestock but also for wildlife habitat, is an concern for landholders in our area.

The project will also greatly assist our volunteers at the Landcare Nursery who will propagate the native plants for this program."

The Trust's Restoration and Rehabilitation program is a contestable grants program operating for over 25 years for community groups and government organisations, seeking to achieve long-term beneficial outcomes for the NSW environment.

For more details and project descriptions visit Environmental Restoration and Rehabilitation Grants