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

16 August 2001

FEDERAL FUNDS TO BOOST URBAN FLORA AND FAUNA


EMBARGOED Until 2pm, Thursday August 16

Environment Minister Robert Hill today announced half a million dollars in Federal Government funding for an innovative national program to encourage native flora and fauna in Australia's urban gardens.

Senator Hill said the new Flora for Fauna project-devised by Australia's Nursery and Garden Industry-has won support through the Federal Government's $2.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust.

"Most of Australia's almost one million homes have a backyard and this national project will encourage all Australians to use these areas to create their own Flora for Fauna gardens," Senator Hill said.

"We want to encourage and show people and communities throughout Australia how they can create truly 'living gardens' - gardens that naturally attract, nourish and provide a safe haven for our unique birds, butterflies, frogs and lizards.

"Australians want to play a part in protecting our local wildlife and this new national project gives them a practical way to contribute. These gardens will provide the vital native plants our local creatures need to survive and they give every household a way to enhance and protect Australia's unique biodiversity."

A key focus of the new project will be dedicated Flora for Fauna displays in participating garden centres throughout Australia. Plants most suited to an area will be clearly identified in garden centres with their own label showing the Flora for Fauna name and symbol-and they will be accompanied by planting and other information.

"People can do as much or as little as they like," Senator Hill said. "They might plant some banksias opposite the rose bushes to attract honey-eaters or they may choose to completely overhaul their garden with a completely new native design."

The Flora for Fauna program will encourage increased plantings by local councils, property developers, schools and other community groups while discouraging the domestic planting of environmental weeds. 'How to' information will be distributed through local councils, zoos, botanic gardens, garden centres, schools and a web site will be running later this year. The Flora for Fauna project is to be promoted through the media and a web site featuring an extensive database of flora, fauna and their locations.

Industry will also contribute funding for Flora for Fauna and it will involve partnerships with botanic gardens and zoos, councils, environment groups and plant societies, research and tertiary institutions and Environment Australia to achieve its goals.

16 August 2001

Media Contact:
Belinda Huppatz 0419 258364

Commonwealth of Australia