The Australian Conservation Foundation has launched a new campaign to focus attention on the Great Dividing Range’s importance to life in eastern Australia – and on threats to the range’s beauty and health.
The Range stretches 3,600 kilometres from the tropical rainforests of Cape York, through the Alps of NSW and the ACT, to temperate forests in Victoria.
“The Great Dividing Range contains three World Heritage Areas, many national parks and provides critical habitat for 70 per cent of our nationally threatened species,” said ACF’s CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.
“The rivers that flow off the Range provide drinking water for 11 million Australians. The Alps alone provide a third of the flows into the Murray-Darling Basin.
“Despite underpinning life in Australia, over the past two centuries nearly 70 per cent of the Range has been degraded, polluted and fragmented by mining, logging and clearing.
“The critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum is nearly extinct, yet its habitat in the forests of Victoria’s Central Highlands continues to be logged to make office paper.
“Mining in NSW, especially underground longwall coal mining, threatens delicate ecosystems and the quality of Sydney’s water supply.
“A planned coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin would pollute the basin’s groundwater and destroy 10,000 hectares of the habitat of the largest known population of the endangered southern black-throated finch.
“The natural systems that support life in Australia are too big and complex to manage in bite-sized pieces – that’s why we’re asking people to think about the health of the whole Range and why we’re asking our elected to representatives to connect and protect the landscapes of eastern Australia that provide vital habitat for threatened species and water to our country’s largest cities,” she said.
Watch and share stories of love, hope and connection from the Range
Read ACF’s Range report
Watch a stunning 7-minute film about the Range