Arthur Bonser is keen to protect wildlife on his property.
Arthur Bonser is keen to protect wildlife on his property.

Keeping Tweed unique

PRIVATE landowners are playing a key role in protecting the Tweed's unique biodiversity.

Government grants this year for landholders to regenerate natural bushland on their properties were quickly snapped up, according to Claire Masters, of Tweed Landcare.

A Landcare workshop today will provide information on how to access the grants, as this year's programs prepare to wrap up at the end of the month.

“We had a great response at the beginning of the project. We had a huge response from land holders who wanted work done; far more than could be carried out through the budget,” Ms Masters said.

“A similar project will be run in the future because there is a very great need to protect the significant habitat and fauna, plus protect corridors so animals can travel across the landscape.

“The Tweed Shire is nationally and internationally recognised for its high biodiversity; it is a very special area.”

At least 49 of the many species of flora and fauna found in the sub-catchments and corridors of the Tweed are listed as threatened, and their long-term survival is in the hands of private landholders.

Arthur Bonser, whose family were Carool pioneers, and has lived at the family property his whole life, recently took advantage of the grants.

He had parts of the 13 hectares of native rainforest that borders his property and runs along side Cobaki Creek, cleared of weeds.

“I am born and bred here; never left,” Mr Bonser said. “I used to spend half a day down here when I was a kid, exploring and climbing trees.

“We have blue figs, teaks, cedars, beech and all those hardwoods down here,” he said.

“They came in and got rid of the weeds, rubbish, lantana, right up to the top corner at the start of Cobaki Creek.”

Ms Masters encouraged landowners to enquire about the grants.

“Many landholders out there want to access support to regenerate their vegetation.”

“Making people aware help is available is an ongoing challenge. People are very busy and not everyone knows the community can get this help.”

She said the Tweed Shire Council was working on providing enough money from its budget to protect the shire's public bushland.

“I would say they are on the road towards doing that, and hopefully it will come about sooner rather than later.”

This year's projects were The Lower Tweed Threatened Species & Endangered Ecological Community (EEC) Recovery Project and the Key Corridor Connections.

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