The partnership between the Butchulla Land and Sea Rangers (BLSRs), Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) and the World Heritage Unit within the Department of Environment and Science (DES) is continuing to strengthen.
Following a successful $30,000 grant received through the Australian Plant Biosecurity Science Foundation earlier this year, an MOU was struck between DAF and DES to increase the capacity of the BLSRs to detect, monitor and report priority environmental exotic plant species and disease threats on K’gari.
Initial training was commenced with the BLSR’s during May that primarily focused on forest biosecurity, forest priority pests and reporting, myrtle rust identification and sample collection, with two field trips undertaken to the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens and Tallebudgera Valley.
The second phase of training has since taken place on K’gari during the first week of August (5th – 9th). During this time on Country, the team visited a number of areas, stretching from Eurong, to Boorangoora, Central Station, Kingfisher Bay Resort, to Eli Creek and as far north as Orchid Beach.
Myrtle rust was detected in many of the areas monitored with the overall forest health observed and recorded. During this time on K’gari, the group also met with FIDO representatives at their nursey at Dili Village. This was a positive opportunity for shared learning and to commence discussions on potential future collaborations.
During the World Heritage Forum held in Canberra during September, Senior BLSR Corey Currie, Dr Geoff Pegg (DAF) and Alana Hazel (WHU) jointly presented the project. It was received with high praise and hopefully will encourage further collaborations within other World Heritage properties across Australia.
The partnership has also been successful in securing a further $30,000 funding to continue on the current project, which will extend the overall project out until 2021.
In addition, New South Wales has also received the same funding amount, which will open the doorway to working with some of the Indigenous groups in the Gondwana World Heritage area.
This will also allow further opportunities to transpire, including collaborations to take place over the two programs and information sharing across Rangers.
Article developed in conjunction with Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the World Heritage Unit