Joint Media Release: Delivering a win-win for our environment and our agricultural communities

6 November 2019

The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment
Rowan Ramsey MP, Federal Member for Grey

The Morrison government has announced a key milestone in the creation of a 140,000 hectare ‘Great Southern Ark’ that will protect native species and benefit local farming communities.

Construction of a 25 kilometre fence across South Australia’s Southern Yorke Peninsula marks the start of four years of intensive feral predator control activities, and the staged re-introduction of threatened wildlife such as the Brush-tailed Bettong and Southern Brown Bandicoot.

The Morrison Government is investing $2.6 million through the National Landcare Program’s Regional Land Partnerships, in the Great Southern Ark. A further $10 million is to be invested through the Environment Restoration Fund to create additional threatened species safe-havens across Australia.

The Southern Yorke Peninsula fence will control the movement of foxes and feral cats, securing the future of many of our threatened native species and reducing the cost of feral animal predation to farmers.

Rowan Ramsey MP, Member for Grey represented Minister Ley at the launch ceremony.

“This fence is a symbol of the great things that can be done when we all work together,” Mr Ramsey said.

“The Great Southern Ark project is the result of more than a decade of collaboration between key project partners led by the Northern and Yorke NRM Board, WWF Australia, Zoos SA, the FAUNA Research Alliance, with support from the Australian Government and cooperation from local farming communities.”

“Feral cats alone hunt and kill bilbies, numbats, quokkas, quolls, bandicoots, parrots, lizards, frogs and many other endangered species.

Once completed, this project is expected to provide significant benefits to our environment, native species, farmers and the local community. For example, the project will help:

  • restore the ecology of the southern Yorke Peninsula and stop the decline of the district’s unique vegetation.
  • manage mice populations, which will help to reduce damage to crops, by reintroducing native predators including the Red-tailed Phascogale and Barn Owl.
  • reduce fox predation on lambs.
  • support the local economy through opportunities for low-impact ecotourism, following the reintroduction of native species such as the Brush-tailed Bettong and Southern Brown Bandicoot.