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Natural Heritage Trust

7 January 2001

ENVIRONMENTAL STARS


Schoolchildren, farmers, and mums and dads will again be the stars of a public information campaign to inspire Australians and show them how they can get involved in caring for the environment.

Environment and Heritage Minister Robert Hill and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss today launched a television campaign to raise awareness of the Natural Heritage Trust and the availability of money for community environmental projects.

"It is particularly appropriate in this, the International Year of the Volunteer, that the Federal Government is demonstrating its commitment to supporting community groups and promoting the availability of financial assistance for them through this campaign," the Ministers said.

This year’s campaign features the stories of 21 communities across Australia who have already received Natural Heritage Trust funding. The people involved tell what they are doing to help the environment and how they are putting Natural Heritage Trust money to work.

The Ministers said the campaign would show all Australians that they could be a part of this national effort to restore and protect our environment and better manage our natural resources.

"By showing some of our environmental problems and how people are going about fixing them, we hope to encourage other Australians to join this national effort.

"In the past more applications have come from rural and regional areas so this campaign will also target people living in urban areas to raise awareness of the availability of Trust money for city-based projects such as Urban Bushcare.

"The campaign indicates the range of projects for which community groups can receive funding - from $389,750 for revegetation of land to bring back the birds in the Holbrook region in southern NSW, to $17,000 to restore a degraded Perth beach, to $2,372 for fencing off and protecting the habitat of Little Penguins near Camdale in northern Tasmania, to name a few.

"We have also been able to revisit projects started several years ago to show the environmental milestones the groups have achieved with support from the Natural Heritage Trust."

The Ministers said the previous Natural Heritage Trust public information campaigns had contributed to an increase in the number and quality of applications received and would do the same for this year’s applications.

"We also expect more first time applications to be generated by this campaign as more people start thinking about how money from the Trust could help them fix their local environmental problems."

The 2001 campaign follows the highly successful campaign run in 1999 that, in its first two weeks, generated thousands of calls to the Natural Heritage Trust Community Information Line.

The Ministers said the campaign also demonstrated that the funding made possible by the Telstra float was being well spent.

"Through this campaign, Australians will see where and to whom their money is going, the type of projects being funded, and how they can apply for funding for their own local projects.

"We promised that the part-sale of Telstra would allow us to set up the largest investment in our natural environment ever seen in this country. We also said that money would be used to back community efforts on the ground.

"This is a clear demonstration that we have delivered on that promise and community groups are using Trust funds to protect and repair their local environment and improve natural resource management."

The latest round of Natural Heritage Trust funding complements the $700 million Salinity Action Plan announced by the Prime Minister last October.

This year (2000/2001), $485 million in Trust funds will be invested in our environment with $243 million already allocated to 2739 projects throughout Australia. Applications from community groups wishing to share in the $315 million funding available next year (2001/2002) close on 23 February 2001.

"This year we have made it even easier to apply thanks to a shorter application form for smaller projects. All community groups have to do to get an application is telephone the Natural Heritage Trust Community Information Line on 1800 065 823, or contact their local Federal Member of Parliament."

Details of the projects and community groups who contributed to the campaign are attached.

7 January 2001

Contact:
Senator Hill - Rachael Thompson on 6277 7640 or 0417 265 289
Mr Truss - Yvonne Best on 6277 7520 or 0418 415 772

For information on individual projects contact Jane Seaborn, Natural Heritage Trust, on 0414 82 92 82

CAMPAIGN INFORMATION

Creative agency: J Walter Thompson (Melbourne)
Production cost: $17,000 per advertisement
Media spend: $3,000,000
Campaign launch: 7 January 2001
Closing date for 2001/2002 applications: 23 February 2001

NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST - GROUPS FEATURED IN PUBLIC INFORMATION CAMPAIGN

Project Proponent Location, State Project description Natural Heritage Trust funding

NT

Roper River Landcare Group Mataranka, NT A bio-control breeding program to support beetle breeding within the Victoria River District, Barkly Region, and Roper River Catchment. The beetles eat the seeds of Parkinsonia - a prickly weed of national significance that destroys arable land. Beetles have also been successfully "exported" to address the problem in other States. $6,400 invested

QLD

Trees for the Evelyn and Atherton Tableland Yungaburra, Qld TREAT has been working on this project for a number of years successfully developing wildlife corridors between remnant pockets of rainforest. $21,240 invested
Mackay Turtle Watch Association Mackay, Qld This is a multi-faceted project that involves, community education, protection of nesting sites, and surveying of habitat. $20,000 invested
Lockyer Catchment Coordinating Committee, Lockyer Valley, Qld Community on ground actions to address priority landcare and rivercare issues in the Lockyer Catchment, building on past Natural Heritage Trust-funded projects in the Lockyer. This project promotes riparian zone restoration, nature conservation and soil erosion management, contributing to improving water quality in Moreton Bay. $134,300 invested
Mary River Catchment Co-ordination Association, Wide Bay, Qld Assisting landholders to strategically restore streams within the Mary River catchment by providing fencing, replanting trees, snag replacement, riffles, hardened cattle pads, troughs and pumps, to improve habitat for the rare Mary River Cod and Mary River Turtle. $142,100 invested

WA

Cambridge Coastcare Perth, WA Restoration of popular Cambridge Beach that had been denuded by years of neglect. Replanting has seen the return of wildlife to the area. $17,000 invested
Carnarvon Heritage Group Carnarvon, WA Restoration and revegetation of the port area now known as Carnarvon Heritage Precinct that has experienced more than 100 years of degradation since the establishment of the port in 1897. $40,000 invested

SA

Mt Lofty Ranges Catchment Program Board Mt Lofty Ranges, SA The program will accelerate progress towards sustainable use and development of the natural resources of the Ranges in line with the recommendations of the Mt Lofty Ranges Regional Strategy Plan. Project has revegetated with local native species by natural regeneration, direct seeding and tubestock. Over 470 km of fencing to protect existing and new vegetation. Over 45 km of watercourse fenced and revegetated. Over 950 ha planted in recharge areas. $1,866,000 invested
West Broughton Soil Conservation Board Yacka, SA Addressing problems such as bed and bank erosion, lack of riparian vegetation, weed and unrestricted access by stock will be tackled along 245 km of the Broughton River's tributaries and main channel (estimated combined length of 2000 km) by fencing, revegetation, relocation of watering points and installation of small erosion control structures. $261,325 invested

NSW

Port Stephens Shire Council/Great Lakes Shire Council Port Stephens/Forster-Tuncurry, NSW A range of activities designed to improve water quality by reducing waste and pollution within the great Lakes and Pert Stephens areas, including installation of public toilets on islands and waste collection stations for boats to pump out their waste instead of into the water. $1,000,000 invested
North Coast Regional Catchment Committee Murwillumbah, NSW Achieving sustainable land management of the coastal floodplains of northern NSW by improved farm pasture management; drought fodder availability; improvements in water quality and water discharges; and rehabilitation of native vegetation on land affected by floodgates or drains. $109,000 invested
Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Trust Western Sydney, NSW An integrated riverbank management program, including community input and vegetation plantings by "Men of the Trees" organisation to restore the river to how it was. Demonstration sites and workshops show different ways the river can be restored. $2,301 invested
Greening Australia Manilla, NSW A farm forestry trial developed to assess the aptitude of various species of natives to different soil types, rainfall and other variations in environment to provide farmers with advice on which species grow best for their areas. $101,080 invested
Holbrook Landcare Group Holbrook, NSW Rebirding the Holbrook Landscape aims to bring the birds back to the region which is suffering from severe tree die-back. Appropriate shrubs and understorey are being planted across an extensive area to provide habitat for the birds that eat the leaf-eating insects responsible for die-back. $389,750 invested

VIC

Friends of the Marine Discovery Centre Queenscliff, Vic This project is the continuation of a highly successful action-based program that has involved thousands of school students in restoring degraded sections of coastline. Through this program dune areas are stabilised and planted with indigenous coastal plants. $16,295 invested
Sugarloaf and Sunday Creek Sub Catchments Co-op, Tallarook, Vic Revegetation of creek banks and fencing to keep stock out is arresting severe erosion. $24,600 invested
Gippsland Coastal Board Gippsland Lakes, Vic The project aims to improve water quality by decreasing the pollution from on-water sources in remote yet popular areas of Gippsland Lakes. This will be achieved by installing a network of boat sewage pump-out stations, environmentally friendly toilets, and disposal points for portable toilets. The facilities to be installed are a mixture of: floating pontoons with hoppers and manual pump-outs; hoppers only (for portable toilet disposal); powered pump-outs (where reticulated sewerage available); and composting toilets for land-based destinations. $250,000 invested
Leigh Catchment Group Ballarat, Vic Improving water quality and biodiversity in the Leigh Catchment from Ballarat to the Barwon River at Inverleigh, which directly affects 300,000 people. Re-establishing riparian vegetation in degraded sections, controlling erosion nutrient run-off and salinity through revegetation of recharge areas. Protecting and enhancing the Leigh River as a unique and valuable wildlife corridor and protecting important remnant vegetation including rare species and communities. $150,000 invested

TAS

Cooee to Camdale Coastcare Camdale, Tas The Cooee to Camdale Coastcare group's work in protecting Little penguins in an urban environment & narrow coastal strip is one of the most notable Coastcare projects. The work includes constructing 2kms of penguin fencing, installing artificial burrows to provide extra nesting sites, revegetation, weed removal & ongoing monitoring of the birds. This penguin fencing project has been funded in two previous years by the Natural Heritage Trust. $2,372 invested
Taroona Environment Network Hobart, Tas The project involves on-ground revegetation, weeding, access improvement, erosion control, and monitoring. The site is on the West coast of the Derwent River, 15 minutes south of Hobart. $16,598 invested

ACT

Reedy Creek Landcare Group Canberra, ACT Stabilising Reedy Creek to minimise erosion; reduce silting and nutrients flowing into the Molonglo/Upper Murrumbidgee catchment and improving water quality in Lake Burley Griffin. Conserving and restoring vegetation along the riparian zone and adjacent land; improving habitat to encourage biodiversity, restoring the wildlife corridor along the creek; and creating wildlife links with Kowen Escarpment bushland and with roadside conservation zones. $53,845 invested
Commonwealth of Australia