Funding boost for the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute
The Morrison Government will provide $142,000 to the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute under the Heritage Grants Program for a project which will develop a monitoring system for endangered upland swamps within the Greater Blue Mountains Area.
Upland swamps perform an important role in the regulation and sustainment of water across the Greater Blue Mountains Area and the project will help support their unique ecosystems by developing an adaptive management strategy for their conservation.
Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said the funding would help preserve and protect the significant natural value of the World Heritage Listed bushland.
“This funding will support the uniquely positioned Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute to help deliver better environmental outcomes for the iconic Blue Mountains,” Senator Payne said.
“The Institute was represented at the roundtable I organised in the Hawkesbury in February to help steer local environmental recovery in the wake of the 2019-20 bushfires, so I am very pleased to deliver this funding.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental recovery is ongoing, and our Government will continue to work with the Blue Mountains community to support them on the road to recovery.”
Minster for the Environment, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, said under the program, National Heritage Listed places can receive funding to protect and promote their heritage values through strengthened recognition, management, conservation and public engagement.
“The Australian Government provides up to $5.3 million a year in grants of between $25,000 and $400,000, for projects improving the conservation and protection of National Heritage Listed areas,” Minister Ley said.
“This program helps build a strong sense of identity for many communities at the centre of National Heritage Listed Areas. We want to ensure our places of national and culturally significant value are protected and maintained for their communities and for future generations.”
Dr John Merson, Executive Director of the Blue Mountains Heritage Institute, welcomed the funding announcement.
"This Commonwealth Heritage Grant is of enormous value in helping support the conservation of the critically endangered upland swamps of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area,” Dr Merson said.
“These swamps hold water in the landscape, which is slowly released into the stream and rivers that support the biodiversity of the World Heritage area.
“The recent bushfires have adversely impacted on 50% of these swamps, and this funding will allow us to develop a monitoring program that will support NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Blue Mountains City Council to better manage the adverse impact of climate change.
“The planned monitoring program, like the testing required for managing the COVID-19 pandemic, will provide land managers with early warning of the functional health of these unique swamp ecosystems."
Applications for Tranche 2 of the Morrison Government’s Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program close on 28 May 2020. For more information, and to apply, visit grants.gov.au.