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‘Ecological tragedy’: $50m federal cash to aid wildlife after fires

The Morrison government is likely to make more funds available for the environment once the full extent of the damage is revealed.

“Fires are burning and we still don’t know with accuracy the final impacts – other than that we know it is an ecological tragedy,” Ms Ley said.

“We know our environment has an enormous ability to recover and we need to engage communities, volunteers and experts to support that.”

Ms Ley’s department will also arrange roundtable events involving scientists, farmers, environmental groups and others to help determine spending priorities.

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The aim is to identify what action agencies can roll out immediately, as well as over the longer term, a spokesman for Ms Ley said.

As reported in the Herald and The Age on Saturday, the Victorian government has already begun circulating a draft response plan for biodiversity, identifying the species likely to be most at risk given the forests known to have been burnt in coming weeks.

NSW, which has had more than three times the area burnt as Victoria, is working on a similar plan.

The government foreshadowed allocating money for the environment when it unveiled a $2 billion bushfire package last week.

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