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Joint Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
&
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Warren Truss

3 April 2002

Australian Government Envirofund Helping Local Groups Make a Difference


More Australians are set to become involved in improving their local environment under a new community-focused program of the Commonwealth Government's $2.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust.

The $20 million Australian Government Envirofund was launched today by Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss.

"The Australian Government Envirofund takes the Natural Heritage Trust into a new phase of community-based funding," Dr Kemp said.

"Its simplified application process will allow community groups or individuals to apply for funding of up to $30,000 to help protect the conservation values of their local area.

"The success of the Natural Heritage Trust hinges on the commitment of regional communities in identifying local environmental and natural resource management problems, developing local solutions and working cooperatively to implement them.

"The Australian Government Envirofund recognises that every idea and every effort - no matter what size - can make a difference. Small local projects will help to ensure that our unique biodiversity is protected and our rich resources are sustained for the next generation," Dr Kemp said.

Minister Truss said that over the past six years, the Natural Heritage Trust has funded some terrific work in our community.

"For example, a number of school groups have received funding under the Trust - in the Northern Territory, Dundee School was allocated $2,900 to create a nature walk along the Dundee Beach coast. In Gippsland Victoria, Paynesville Primary School was allocated $1,100 to conserve three precious frog communities by re-establishing and developing a wetland habitat in their area.

"In a larger project, WA's Julimar Road Creek Catchment Group was allocated $23,100 to ease salinity and create wildlife corridors through fencing, tree planting and stream restoration work.

"In Queensland 14 landowners were allocated $3,700 to implement sustainable agriculture, water quality and erosion control measures on the last natural 11 kilometre stretch of Ned's Gully, in an effort to improve the quality of water discharge into nearby Kings Creek.

"These four projects illustrate the diversity of projects that the Australian Government Envirofund will be able to support.

"Dr Kemp and I strongly encourage community groups around the country to apply for funding from the Australian Government Envirofund to help make a real difference in their local areas," Minister Truss said.

Community groups interested in applying for funding of up to $30,000 under the Australian Government Envirofund should obtain a copy of the Guide to Applications, or an Expression of Interest form if they need advice on the feasibility of their project.

Community groups wishing to apply for funding can do so up until 5 June 2002. Application Guides and Expression of Interest forms are available by calling toll-free on 1800 065 823, or by looking on the Internet at www.nht.gov.au.

Media Contacts:
Catherine Job (David Kemp's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Andrew Hall (Warren Truss' office) 02 6277 7520 or 0419 996 766

Commonwealth of Australia