The federal government has announced $50 million in funding for the protection of wildlife as the bushfire emergency continues to rage.
The money will be spent on the protection of wildlife from predators and invasive species and the restoration of habitats lost to bushfires.
"As part of the government’s support $25 million will be provided for an emergency intervention fund to be used on critical interventions where required and to help with the immediate survival of affected animals, plants and ecological communities and to control pests and weeds,” said Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
"A further $25 million will be made available to support wildlife rescue, our zoos, Natural Resource Management Groups, Greening Australia and Conservation Volunteers Australia with on the ground activities.”
The money will also be spent on convening a panel of experts to advise the government on developing a long-term wildlife and habitat restoration plan.
“We’ve been trying to prioritise the species, the places where we most need to focus our efforts, and then look at the type of actions that might need to be done,” said Threatened Species commissioner Sally Box, who will chair the panel.
“That might be about protecting habitat where you’ve got those vulnerable species remaining, it may [be] about controlling pests and weeds, it may be about securing threatened species populations and getting them in to the zoos, and also there’s the planning for that long-term habitat restoration effort.”
The government has also announced that it will spend another $2 billion on the new National Bushfire Recovery Agency (NBRA), imperilling the much-touted budget surplus that has been a cornerstone of the government’s platform.