State budget shines light on the environment

In the Queensland state budget handed down on 14 June, we saw some welcome allocations for the environment and the Environment Department itself receiving an 11% increase in necessary funding. This goes some way to restoring vital resourcing cut under the previous government.

A representative of Queensland’s peak conservation group, the Queensland Conservation was in budget lock-down and provided the following summary of some of the key items relating to the environment and natural resource management and issued the following   media release

Environment Department 

Underground coal gasification Investigations- $11.7 million over two years form 2015-16 to support ongoing investigations and compliance actions into instances of alleged serious environmental harm, relating to UCG

Community Sustainability Action Grants- $12 million over three years for grants to local environmental, wildlife and heritage conservation groups to support community engagement, encourage innovation and enable eligible groups and individuals to help improve wildlife protection, environmental rehabilitation and heritage conservation of local sites.  Read the Minister's release

Wildlife Management- $15.2 million to support range of wildlife management and conservation activities across Queensland includes $6million for wildlife hospitals

Koala Conservation- $12.1 million over four years and ongoing funding of $2.6 million every year for koala conservation and protection measures. To support koala care and rehabilitation services, expanded population surveys and habitats mapping and establishment of two koala refuges. Guide future research and habitat management to protect Koalas in SEQ.

NatureAssist Program- $11.7 million over four years and ongoing funding $3 milllion per year for management of Nature Refuge agreements under NatureAssist.

Waste management- $1.9million in 2016-17- to invest in waste management and waste reduction strategies. Promote enhanced recycling and waste diversion industries, leading to reduced landfill and reuse materials.

Climate Change Strategy- $6.8 million over four years and ongoing funding of $1.7million every year to develop and implement a QLD Climate Change Strategy

Climate Paddle Out Noosa

Crocodile Management- $5.8 million over three years for crocodile management, including expansion of Crocodile urban management are in the Rockhampton region. Includes scientific analysis, public education and manage the removal of problem animals

Pristine Rivers- $1.5 million over two years to work with key stakeholders to develop and implement strategies to protect QLD's pristine rivers from large scale industrial operations

Rural Assistance Package- Yellow Crazy Ant Management- $3 million over three years- additional funding to assist WRMA to manage yellow crazy ants. Funding conditional on Aust Govt funds 80% of costs

CapeYork and Great Sandy World Heritage area Nominations- $2.2 million over three years- to progress nominations in consultation with Traditional Owners

Implementation of Biofuels mandate- $704,000 in 2016-17 for development of best practice environmental standards.

Department of Natural Resources and Mines 

Abandoned Mine Lands Program- $42 million over five years to 2020-21 with $8million onfoing to manage the public safety risks with abandoned mines

Coal Seam Gas Compliance Unit- $7.3 million over two years for regulation and administration of CSG industry

State-wide High Resolution Satellite Imagery- additional $7.8 million over four years and ongoing funding of $1.5 million per year to support aerial and satellite imagery to assist with vegetation management compliance.

See what TheWilderness Society had to say and read the full budget papers here