MEDIA RELEASE from Gareth Ward MLA Kiama, re NSW Envrionmental Trust "Bush Connect" Grant

The Honourable Gareth Ward, member for Kiama ( also a member of the 'NSW Parliament Friends of Landcare') presented the award for a NSW Environmental Trust 'Bush Connect' Grant of $500,000 to members of Berry Landcare, the CEO of the NSW National Parks Association, a key partner in the project and other partners on Friday, 18th December, in a forest setting within the Berry Corridor.

Gareth Ward MP  Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast
Member for Kiama

MEDIA RELEASE   18 December 2015



Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast, and Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has today presented $500,000 funding to the Berry Landcare Group under the New South Wales Government’s NSW Environmental Trust, in a forest setting near Berry.

Mr Ward said that he was extremely pleased to join with Dr Bill Pigott, Convenor of the Berry Corridor Working Group and other representatives from Berry Landcare during today’s presentation.

“Berry Landcare Group are doing some really tremendous conservation work in our local community and I applaud their hard work and dedicating to preserving our natural environment for future generations,” he said.


“This $500,000 with support the Berry Bush Links Program which is a consortium comprising a Landcare group, over 50 private landholders, community and Government organisations.

“These partners will work together to connect existing ‘stepping stone’ patches of native vegetation across tenures in the Berry Corridor of the Illawarra to Shoalhaven Great Eastern Ranges landscape via revegetation.

“By controlling weeds and pest animals, this project will restore existing native habitat within the Berry Corridor to support a range of native wildlife including threatened species and endangered ecological communities.

“Field days and community workshops focusing on seed collection, weed and native plant identification will be used to engage and motivate landholders to be more aware and conscience of protecting our local environment,” Mr Ward said.

Will Armitage, Chair of Berry Landcare acknowledged the support being given to Landcare through such Environmental Trust Grants and the New South Wales Government’s Landcare Support programme, and thanked Mr Ward for the role he has played in supporting Landcare. The grant will boost the local efforts, particularly in “The Berry Corridor” project, an example of Connectivity Conservation in action.

Berry Landcare is a non-profit voluntary organization, with over 100 members and 11 work  sites around Berry,  with projects such as “Plant Local” and seed collecting for the landscaping associated with the re-alignment of the Prince’s Highway near Berry,

Kevin Evans, CEO of the NSW National Parks Association, a key partner in the project, expressed his appreciation for the long-term support and investment that this grant represents, as one of 16 Bush Connect Projects just announced, totaling $7,578,262.

Bill Pigott, Convenor of the Berry Corridor Working Group also welcomed the funding, thanking Mr Ward “for believing in us as a Landcare group and believing in our vision” for a Wildlife Corridor from the escarpment to the sea.

He also thanked him for the way it will not only result in encouragement, landscape change and biodiversity outcomes, but also in Community Capacity building, knowledge sharing and work with a range of local partners.

MEDIA: Gareth Ward 0401 499 933 or Ben Blackburn 0423 466 358