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Joint Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
Minister for Forestry and Conservation
Senator Ian Macdonald

29 July 2002

New Queensland Natural Heritage Trust Panel

A panel for the new Australian Government Envirofund, a $20 million Commonwealth programme to encourage local community environment groups, has been appointed.

The Queensland State Assessment Panel (SAP) for the Envirofund was announced today by the Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, David Kemp and Federal Minister for Forestry and Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald.

Envirofund is the programme of the Commonwealth Government’s $2.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust to help community groups or individuals protect local areas with conservation values. The Queensland SAP will consist of nine community representatives and two Commonwealth officers.

We are pleased to announce that Professor Geoff McDonald, of Brisbane, has been appointed Chairman of the Queensland SAP for the Envirofund.

Professor McDonald brings expertise in environmental processes, management and research. He also has teaching interests in urban and regional planning.

Two of the panel members are from remote areas of Queensland with local government experience.

They are Cr Dougal Davidson, the Mayor of Tambo Shire, a member of the executive of the Local Government Association of Queensland and a member of the Rural Lands Protection Board; and Cr Mary Lyle, the Mayor of Eacham Shire in Far North Queensland, which is a shire with a distinct focus on environment, land and bush preservation outcomes.

They will be assisted by Mr Neal Johansen, of Biloela, who has a strong background in sustainable farming systems and the Grains Research and Development Corporation. Mr Rohan Foley, of Cairns, will represent indigenous land management issues, and Mr Nick Heath, of Brisbane, will bring an understanding of the integration needed between land, water and vegetation and marine resources management.

Other members are Ms Maria Van der Gragt, of Brisbane, who has a strong background with the World Wide Fund for Nature, especially in the areas of conservation and biodiversity and wetlands management; Mr Anthony Chandler, of Ayr, a former environmental health surveyor with Burdekin Shire Council and a member of the Upper Burdekin Catchment Group and a cane farmer in Brandon; and Ms Kirsti Sampson, of Townsville, who is a member of the Coastcare State Assessment Panel and a member of the Marine and Coastal Community Network.

The panel will meet for the first time tomorrow (30 July) to begin assessing applications for Envirofund grants of up to $30,000. Details toll-free 1800 065 823 or online at

Media contacts:
Sen Macdonald’s office: Zac Donovan (02) 6277 7270 or 0438 611 296
Dr Kemp’s office: Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400

Commonwealth of Australia