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Connectivity conservation and the Great Eastern Ranges corridor

The independent report by Prof Brendan Mackey, Dr James Watson and Dr Graeme Worboys presents the scientific basis for establishing a conservation corridor along the Great Eastern Ranges from the Australina Alps near Melbourne to the Atherton Tablelands and beyond in far north Queensland.

There has been increasing interest over recent years in the concept of connectivity at a continental scale, particularly as a response to improving the resilience of our biodiversity and ecosystems to the anticipated impacts of climate change. In 2006, the Environment Heritage and Protection Council (EPHC) considered the issue of a possible continental-scale corridor extending along Australia’s great eastern ranges from Victoria through NSW to Atherton in Queensland.

The EPHC established an Interstate Agency Working Group (Alps to Atherton Connectivity Conservation Working Group) comprising the following members:
? New South Wales – Ian Pulsford (Convenor), Department of Environment, Climate Change and
? Commonwealth – Dr Charlie Zammitt, Department of Environment Water Heritage and the Arts
? Queensland – Anita Haenfler, Department of Environment and Resource Management
? Australian Capital Territory – Sharon Lane, Department of Municipal Services and Environment
? Victoria – Nina Cullen, Department of Sustainability and Environment, and Phil Peggler, Parks

The Interstate Agency Working Group agreed that there was a need for a ‘proof of concept’ report outlining the scientific principles that underpin the concept of a continental-scale connectivity conservation approach to Australia’s great eastern ranges. It was also agreed that the report should be undertaken by an independent internationally recognised Australian scientist.

Following a decision of the EPHC in April 2008, the Interstate Agency Working Group now reports to
the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council (NRMMC).