Bush Heritage and its supporters have concluded an extraordinary 12 months of activity. I look forward to reporting the audited accounts for the financial year ending 30 June 2006, but the preliminary results indicate that this past year has been our best ever.
During this time, with the acquisition of additional reserves in Queensland, South Australia,Victoria and Western Australia, almost 300 000 hectares of land and water have been added to our conservation estate, nearly doubling in one year the area of land we own and manage.
Judith Eardley Reserve, Vic. Photo James Cowie.
I extend my thanks and congratulations to you, our supporters, for your part in this wonderful achievement.
Importantly, through both the acquisition of these new reserves and through continuing improvements in reserve management, we've increased protection for threatened species and communities. Now, with 24 reserves in all and at least one in each state, we protect over 670 000 hectares of critical habitats.
On the strength of increased support across the organisation in both human and financial terms, there has been greater activity on the reserves and there have been more opportunities for volunteers and for developing partnerships.
Our reserve-based staff receive great support and encouragement from volunteers and visitors, and it's for reasons of safety and management efficiency that we can't yet provide additional opportunities for participation in this area.
It's also been pleasing to see Bush Heritage feature increasingly in the media. This helps to bring to public attention both the problems of biodiversity loss and the practical solution that Bush Heritage offers. I know many supporters will be pleased to see this new level of exposure of our work. Our website carries a link to most of the media and journal articles and TV and radio reports that have been broadcast.
As an important window into our organisation, the Bush Heritage website is being improved this year. Major changes will not appear until late in the year but I encourage you to view it regularly for updates and news.
With clear goals and strategies for conservation in place, we are well placed to make further important gains for conservation in the future. Thank you again for your wonderful support. Please continue to help us in whatever way you can so that our work for the environment can continue to gain momentum.
Doug Humann, CEO