The Australian and New Zealand Governments are to take the first steps towards approving the planting of a new species of sapling in the wild.
Key points:The Minister for Primary Industries said it would allow for the planting and harvesting of more than 40,000 new saplings each yearThe decision to allow the species to be planted and harvested is expected to be announced within the next few weeksThe decision is expected later this yearThe announcement will be made by the Minister for the Environment, Agriculture and Water Resources, Greg Hunt.
It will allow for a wider range of species to survive, with a variety of varieties that could include an ornamental variety that grows in tall trees.
Key Points:The Government said it will allow the planting, harvesting and conservation of up to 40,400 new sapling species each year, compared to the current requirement of 10,000Each new species will require approval from the Primary Industries Council, which would have the power to suspend or prohibit the planting or harvesting of the species.
“With a population of up 80 million animals in Australia, we have the opportunity to increase our capacity for sustainable, healthy, and happy lives, including for our young,” Minister Hunt said.
“In doing so, we can help preserve the very best of our wildlife and our environment.”
The Government is considering allowing the planting at least 40,200 new saplands each year in an effort to reduce the area of native bushland that could be lost to farming.
“We are determined to preserve this amazing habitat and make sure it’s used for its full potential,” Minister for Rural Affairs John McMillan said.
In a submission to the Federal Government, the Natural Resources Minister, Alan Tudge, said there were only a few species of native species that were able to survive in the wetland, dry land and desert regions.
“If you are going to plant a species, it’s important you understand the species needs to be in the right place at the right time,” he said.
The Minister said that the current restrictions were “a bit out of date” and the species would not be planted in a way that would jeopardise its survival.
“They can only be planted where they have the right kind of environmental profile, so that they are good for the environment,” he told ABC Radio.
“I think that’s what the nature reserves is all about.”
Mr McMillin said the decision would allow the Government to establish “a new and robust management regime that will provide more opportunities for wildlife”.
“This new regime will provide opportunities for the new species, and also help to develop and protect them for future generations,” he added.
“The Minister is very clear that we have to continue to develop the new varieties to be as healthy as possible.”
The Minister says that the planting will be the “best way to help manage the biodiversity” in the country.
“There’s only so much that we can do in this country, and we’re not going to achieve that without a lot of work, and this new regime is going to do that work for us,” he explained.
“It’s a win-win, it makes it easier for wildlife, and it gives us an opportunity to have more of our beautiful native plants that have been so important for so long to be preserved and protected.”
Mr Hunt has previously said that planting the new sapled species would create more than 5,000 jobs, and create $50 million in new revenue to help meet the Government’s target of $100 million a year for biodiversity conservation.
The Government will also introduce a National Landmarks Program, which will be funded through a national land fund, to support the planting.
“These new species can be planted on the land we’re currently using for grazing and to support biodiversity, and if we manage it well, they can be managed for decades,” Mr McMilligan said.
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