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$6 Million earmarked for conservation handed back to Treasurer

The Australian Greens were shocked to learn in Senate Estimates today that $6 Million set aside for protecting biodiversity hotspots has not been spent and will be handed back to Treasury.

"This money was meant to be used to buy high conservation-value properties in Australia's biodiversity 'hotspots' – areas where there is a great concentration of unique wildlife," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"I cannot believe that the government couldn't spend this money – when there are so many opportunities to buy back some stunning private and leasehold land."

"It is clear to me that the problem isn't a lack of suitable properties to invest in. I believe that the Department simply didn't look hard enough," she said.

The program aims to improve the conservation of biodiversity hotspots on private and leasehold land through conservation management and protection of existing ecosystems for native plants and animals. The intended outcome is to protect natural ecosystems with a largely intact diversity of native and endemic species.

"The Australian public deserve to know the former Government's reasons for failing to spend this money, when they were so clearly directed to do so," she concluded.

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