Fingal carers welcome funds
THE Tweed’s ecological goldmines were the focus of a visit by NSW Environment Minister Mark Speakman today.
Mr Speakman embarked on an early-morning journey with NSW Fisheries, Marine Rescue Point Danger, National Parks and Wildlife Service personnel and Tweed MP Geoff Provest to the protected bird nesting habitat and turtle-filled alcove of Cook Island.
“It’s very important to have sanctuaries like that at Cook Island,” Mr Speakman said.
During his visit, Mr Speakman announced $100,000 to help Tweed Coast koalas as part of the NSW Government’s Saving Our Species program, $100,000 for Tweed Shire Council to improve the water quality of the Rous River and $4600 in funding for Fingal Head Coastcare.
He then visited some of the locals behind the success of Fingal Head Coastcare, to announce the funds for a new computer, data projector, trailer and other equipment.
After inspecting their nursery and part of the area the group cares for, Mr Speakman said he was pleased to support them.
“It’s important for the government to support local initiatives which encourage community involvement in conservation, and that’s why I’m so pleased to support Fingal Head Coastcare,” Mr Speakman said.
Coastcare president Kay Bolton said the funding was an unexpected surprise.
“It’s good news for us because it’s the sort of thing we can’t afford,” Ms Bolton said.
She said the new equipment would help with their educational programs, which involve several of the Tweed’s schools.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said the funding would help Coastcare to continue their community-integrated projects.
“By involving the schools there’s a sense of ownership created,” Mr Provest said.
“Fingal Head Coastcare makes an important contribution to educating the community and undertaking critical local conservation projects, including by investing over 2,500 volunteer hours last year alone.”
Mr Speakman also visited the Lismore electorate, including Wollumbin National Park, with Lismore MP Thomas George.
He announced funding for a range of environmental projects across the Northern Rivers, all of which came from the Environmental Trust grants program, which aims to protect and restore the environment and crucial habitats of rare and endangered species.