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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Funding and nature refuge to protect the night parrot

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    Funding and nature refuge to protect the night parrot

    A bird once believed to be extinct is having its western Queensland habitat protected under a partnership between the Palaszczuk Government and Bush Heritage Australia. 

    The nature refuge agreement for the night parrot reserve was formally signed today (Tuesday) by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles and Bush Heritage Australia CEO, Gerard O’Neill. 

    One of the world’s most elusive birds, the night parrot – which has been described as looking like an oversized budgie – was recently re-discovered on the 56,000-hectare Pullen Pullen Reserve.

    “Nature refuges are a partnership between government and landholders which serve to protect important ecosystems and native species on private lands in Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    Dr Miles said Bush Heritage Australia had earlier purchased the property using public donations and has received government support.

    “I am please the Palaszczuk Government has also committed $440,000 to the not-for-profit conservation group Bush Heritage Australia from the government’s NatureAssist program, which is managed by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection,” Dr Miles said.

    "The funding included a grant of $400,000 for conservation works on the property to secure and protect the bird’s habitat, once it had been confirmed that the elusive night parrot was there.

    “This financial support will be used to manage the property as a nature refuge under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

    “With a nature refuge, the landowner retains ownership of the land and the agreement provides for the environmental and conservation values of the land to be managed and protected in perpetuity..

    “The night parrot is considered internationally as a ‘holy grail’ for birdwatchers, and working with Bush Heritage Australia, we are doing everything possible to protect this remarkable animal,” Dr Miles said. 

    Bush Heritage Australia CEO Gerard O’Neill said the funding and establishment of a Nature Refuge Agreement would help secure the future survival of the rare night parrot and its habitat.

    “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to recover a species that had disappeared for almost 100 years, and together we are working hard to conserve its habitat and protect it from threats such as predation by cats and foxes,” Mr O’Neill said.  

    “A species as rare as the night parrot also faces a very considerable risk from poaching, and we have installed satellite cameras to catch poachers as part of our conservation efforts. 

    “The Queensland Government’s funding will support a range of conservation measures at Pullen Pullen Reserve, including protection against feral animals, fencing to prevent stock incursions, and fire management.

    “The funding will also support our anti-poaching surveillance technology, and help us to monitor the night parrot’s behaviour to increase the world’s limited knowledge of this rediscovered species.

    “Bush Heritage Australia is the largest Nature Refuge Landholder in Queensland and is proud to have Pullen Pullen Reserve recognised as a Protected Area and to be working with the Queensland Government to protect this enigmatic and critically endangered species for future generations,” Mr O’Neill said. 

    Dr Miles said the government had placed an interim conservation order on the Pullen Pullen Reserve, in May 2016, to further protect the night parrot.

    “The conservation order means people going onto the land without authority risk receiving a fine of up to $353,400 or two years’ imprisonment,” Dr Miles said. 

    A scientific committee that includes representation from Bush Heritage Australia and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection was also set up 2013 to help determine the best ways to protect the bird.