26 September 2023

Canberra Budget has more for environment

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The ACT Government’s Budget brought down earlier this week was aimed at boosting investment to protect, conserve and restore Canberra’s natural environment and waterways according to the Chief Minister Andrew Barr who pointed to an additional $13 million to be allocated over four years as part of the 2023-24 ACT Budget.

Biosecurity and nature conservation

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the government would allocate $5.8 million over four years to strengthen the Territory’s biosecurity and nature conservation programs.

The Chief Minister said it would include:

* Additional Conservation Officers with a focus on vegetation ecology and recreational fishing;

* Habitat restoration to help protect high value conservation areas and the ACT’s plants and animals that are at risk of extinction;

* Funding for the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary Strategy and operations;

* Funding to partner with the Ngunnawal people and others connections to plan and deliver the programs;

* Strengthening the ACT’s biosecurity by expanding pest animal programs including vertebrate and rabbit control and additional resources to undertake weed eradication work across the ACT;

“A strategic comprehensive review of the Territory’s biosecurity arrangements to support the plan effective biosecurity measures into the future;

* Funding to conduct a strategic and comprehensive review of the ACT’s conservation arrangements.

More investment in healthy waterways

Mr Barr said improving the quality of the ACT’s stormwater, lakes and ponds remained a focus for the Government with the Budget providing a further $8.2 million to the Healthy Waterways project, taking the total funding provided in this term of Government to $35.5million,

He said the new funding would provide a range of projects to improve water quality and catchment health across the region, including:

* Constructing infrastructure for recycled stormwater for fields in Kambah and Wanniassa;

* Construction of a new raingarden in Higgins;

* Extending drain naturalisation in Isabella Plains;

*Collaborations with traditional custodians on water issues and catchment;

* Extended community education on reducing pollution in our waterways.

Mr Barr said Canberra was again named as the best place to live in Australia.

“We are so fortunate in the ACT to live in a city with such a unique and diverse natural environment right on our doorsteps,” he said.

This funding boost for environment and water initiatives will ensure we build resilience to climate events and biosecurity threats to plants, animals and our health to protect the lifestyle values we are known for.

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