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Powell Media Release – Newman Government celebrates collaboration with Australia Zoo (15 November 2012)

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Andrew Powell has praised the conservation work of Steve Irwin, as he joined the Crocodile Hunter’s wife Terri at Australia Zoo today.

Mr Powell said he was at Beerwah to commemorate Steve Irwin Day and sign two Memoranda of Understanding (MOU).

“It is an honour and privilege to be here on Steve Irwin Day and commemorate the extraordinary work Steve did not just in Queensland, but around the world,” Mr Powell said.

“It is fitting that the Newman Government demonstrates its ongoing commitment to investing in our environment by signing the MOU with Australia Zoo.”

One agreement will be in relation to the Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger program, and the other for conservation of wildlife in our state.

“The MOU for the Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger program provides for even greater involvement in the mentoring and training,” he said.

“Currently the program provides important employment and training opportunities for 45 Indigenous rangers in Cape York and the Gulf of Carpentaria, and is now also expanding to the Lake Eyre Basin.

“The Newman Government is extremely supportive of this program and has invested $7 million this year alone, with a commitment to engage additional rangers and bring the total to 80 over the next three years.

“The second agreement will provide a strong framework to maximise community understanding and involvement in the management of Queensland’s native wildlife including crocodiles, koalas and northern hairy-nosed wombats.”

Terri Irwin said the renewed MOU would provide an improved model for Australia Zoo and EHP to collaboratively achieve tangible wildlife conservation outcomes across the state.

“Signing these MOUs on Steve Irwin Day is particularly significant as we further the work Steve was so passionate about,” Terri said.

“We are proud to be working with Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers to protect wildlife and wild places.”

Minister Powell said signing the agreement demonstrated the Newman Government’s commitment to the conservation, management, research, education and rehabilitation of native wildlife in Queensland.

“It is a fantastic partnership which I hope to continue well into the future and it is a truly fitting way to pay tribute to a great wildlife advocate, Steve Irwin,” Mr Powell said.

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