Banking the future of our rarest plant species

24 November 2021

Morrison Government initiatives are providing new hope for millions of native plants including an ancient tree species almost wiped out by fire on the NSW south coast.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley visited the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra today to see the only two Mount Imlay Mallee trees growing outside of their south coast habitat and officially launch a new $5 million seed banking strategy with Greening Australia.

The eucalypt is so rare that only 55 adult trees were growing on the summit of Mount Imlay before the devastating Black Summer bushfires all but wiped them out.

“Visiting the gardens and seeing these two very special trees is a reminder of the importance of protecting our eucalypts and how seed banking programs are future-proofing Australia’s native plant species,” Minister Ley said.

“We need to ensure that Australia is well positioned to respond to future natural disasters, that is why I am pleased to launch the new ‘Strategy for the Australian Native Seed Sector’, which provides a 10-year road map to grow and improve the management of Australia’s native seeds.

“The strategy provides the framework that will allow governments, businesses and the community to better manage the restoration and rehabilitation of landscapes across Australia. 

“It will also guide the work of the Australian Seed Bank Partnership and broader native seed sector as it continues to collect, germinate, propagate and store seeds from more than 200 priority bushfire-affected native plant species.”

The ANBG is a member of the Australian Seed Bank Partnership which has been coordinating bushfire recovery work across the country with funding support from the Morrison Government.

The partnership received more than $1.65 million from the Morrison Government’s bushfire recovery funding to conserve seeds from severely impacted plant communities and landscapes across Australia, including in the seven most bushfire affected regions in eastern and southern Australia.

The Strategy was developed through Greening Australia’s Project Phoenix, with input from across the sector including first nation’s communities, businesses, government, community groups and related industries such as mining and agriculture. 

Read the strategy: https://www.greeningaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Australian-Native-Seed-Strategy_Final.pdf 

Further information on the Australian Seed Bank Partnership: https://www.seedpartnership.org.au/
Images available here: https://f.io/dxbTGNBR