The Andrews Labour Government have announced Cassinia Environmental as their preferred delivery partner for a landmark project that will transform 20,000 hectares of private land across Victoria (the equivalent of 10,000 MCGs) into healthy habitat for native wildlife, capturing carbon and creating regional jobs.
The announcement was made by the Minister for the Environment and Climate Action Lily D’Ambrosio who detailed the $31 million investment to plant millions of trees, revegetate and deliver unique habitats for Victorian wildlife, create hundreds of jobs and capture an expected 3.5 million tonnes of carbon as it targets 50 per cent emissions reduction by 2030.
“We’re revegetating habitat five times the City of Melbourne’s size and partnering with Cassinia who bring two decades of experience helping private landholders to support our wildlife and tackle climate change.” said Minister D’Ambrosio
Cassinia will secure co-funding in excess of the Government’s investment and has in principle support to leverage more than $50 million of co-funding in partnership with a range of organisations including Land Life Company, South Pole, Greenfleet, WWF-Australia, Global Evergreening Alliance, One Tree Planted, as well as Wilderlands.
Whilst the projects that form part of this Bushbank initiative aren’t available for individuals to support through Wilderlands, CEO Ash Knop said the announcement was further reinforcement that Cassinia has become one of the most trusted conservation organisations in the country and should give supporters confidence that they’re money will make a difference when projects are managed by such a reputable partner.
“When we were selecting our conservation partner for Wilderlands we knew how important it would be to find an organisation who could not only do the work but also become a trusted partner that people would feel confident we’re delivering on the promises we’re making,” said Mr Knop.
“To see that the Andrews Labour Government select Cassinia Environmental as their preferred partner for such a landmark project just reinforces that confidence.”
Cassinia Environmental CEO Paul Dettmann said the Bushbank initiative was evidence of growing interest and investment in biodiversity and a credit to the Government for leading the charge as this important change takes action.
“This is an incredibly ambitious program and is exactly what the landscape needs. We look forward to working with the Government, landowners and delivery partners to see 20,000 hectares restored and protected. The benefits of such a large scale program will be experienced for generations to come.” said Mr Dettmann.
The restored land will serve as prime habitat for vulnerable wildlife including Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo, Red Tailed Black Cockatoo, Malleefowl, Southern Brown Bandicoot and Long-nosed Potoroo.
As part of the $77 million BushBank program, $2.7 million in planting is complete at Berrook State Forest in the Mallee and is taking place around Lake Eildon Breamlea Flora and Fauna Reserve and along the Upper Murray at locations such a Burrowa-Pine National Park and the River Murray Reserve.
A further $14.5 million is supporting Traditional Owners to lead restoration works on Country, including $3.7 million to deliver 11 projects over four years including training, biodiversity surveys and mapping, revegetation and other on ground works.
Learn more about the Bushbank initiative: https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/bushbank