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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

9 August 2001

FUNDING AVAILABLE TO PROTECT OUR THREATENED GRASSLANDS


Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has announced funding of over $450,000 is available through the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust for the protection of threatened grasslands in south-east Australia.

Senator Hill said the funding was available through the Trust's $1.5 million Grassy Ecosystem Grants for South-east Australia Program, administered by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

"Over $450,000 in funding is available in this round for local projects in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory designed to repair and protect our native grasslands," Senator Hill said.

"Native grasslands are among Australia's most endangered ecosystems, with less than one per cent of original grassland in south-east Australia remaining.

"While most people are unaware of the importance of grasslands, they perform an important function in soil health, provide habitat for a number of our threatened species and are an essential food source for pollinators such as birds and insects.

"To date, 56 projects have been funded through the Grassy Ecosystem Grants for South-east Australia Program.

"These projects have helped improve management and security of over 7000 hectares of grassy ecosystems through long-term agreements, management planning and on-ground conservation activity, including almost 160 kilometres of fencing works.

"Native flora in south-east Australia has received added protection under the Grassy Ecosystem Grants through the protection of ecological communities such as Wallaby Grass grasslands, Snow Gum grassy woodlands, Grey Box grassy woodlands and the endangered natural temperate grasslands of the New South Wales south-west Slopes.

"The Grassy Ecosystem Grants are an excellent example of the environmental outcomes that can be achieved when local communities, governments and conservation groups such as the World Wide Fund for Nature work together."

Applications close on 28 September 2001. For further information, check WWF's website at http://www.wwf.org.au or call toll-free 1800 251 573.

See attached table for State summaries of projects funded in previous rounds.

August 9, 2001

Media Contact: Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill's Office) 02 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364


ATTACHMENT:

Projects funded in rounds one and two of the Grassy Ecosystem Grants for South-east Australia Program.

State

Applications Approved

Total Funds ($)

Round 1

ACT

1

22,000

NSW

4

95,925

SA

8

40,805

TAS

-

-

VIC

13

139,855

Total

26

298,585

 

Round 2

ACT

-

-

NSW

10

136,491

SA

8

132,735

TAS

5

25,400

VIC

7

165,500

Total

30

460,126

Commonwealth of Australia