Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Senator the Hon. Joe Ludwig

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator for Queensland

The Hon. Dr Mike Kelly

Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Working together to care for our country

Joint media release
5 April 2011

Proposals for land care and environment projects from across the nation are invited under the Caring for our Country 2011-12 business plan.

The Gillard Government today announced up to $178 million will be made available to fund natural resource management projects through the Caring for our Country 2011-12 business plan.

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Tony Burke, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, and Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Dr Mike Kelly, said projects that build natural resilience in ecosystems and farmlands will be a focus in 2011-12.

"Through Caring for our Country the Gillard Government is investing in a healthy, better protected and more resilient environment," Minister Burke said.

"This is the third annual Caring for our Country business plan and we are committed to funding investments in this next round that help the landscape withstand the many pressures it faces, including natural disasters."

Minister Ludwig said the Government was working with regional natural resource management organisations and other key stakeholders to support on-going projects throughout the country.

"This work is being undertaken in conjunction with environmental recovery efforts in response to recent natural disasters such as widespread flooding and Cyclone Yasi," Minister Ludwig said.  

"A focus for funding will be to build community skills, knowledge and engagement in natural resource management, particularly among Indigenous, farming, coastal and marine communities."

The 2011 Caring for our Country 2011-12 business plan sets aside up to $66 million for base-level funding for regional NRM organisations, with the remainder for projects that contribute to achieving outcomes in line with the six national priority areas for Caring for our Country.

These priorities are:

  • increasing the National Reserve system;
  • biodiversity and national icons;
  • coastal environments and critical aquatic habitats;
  • sustainable farm practices;
  • remote and northern Australia; and
  • community skills, knowledge and engagement.

The Government is seeking one and two year proposals in which project milestones, budgets and deliverables can be completed by June 2013.

Dr Kelly said these projects will complement a large number of multi-year projects currently funded in the first three years of Caring for our Country.

"This business plan supports the Government’s five year investment through Caring for our Country in a healthy, better protected, well managed and more resilient environment in the face of a changing climate," Dr Kelly said.

Through the 2010-11 business plan the Conservation Agriculture Alliance of Australia has received over $800,000 in funding to assist farmers adopt no-till practices in an effort to reduce soil loss and increase ground cover across 23 regional catchments in Australia. The 2010-11 business plan funded more than 200 projects across the nation and supported a broad range of industry, natural resource management and community groups.

More information on the Caring for our Country 2011-12 business plan and about how to apply for funding is available from www.nrm.gov.au  or by phoning 1800 552 008.