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Joint Media Release

Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
Commonwealth Minister for Agriculture
Warren Truss
Victorian Minister for Agriculture
Bob Cameron

Victorian Minister for Environment
John Thwaites

5 May 2003

$15.2 Million for Major Environment Work in Victoria

Major environmental work targeting native vegetation, dryland salinity, threatened species and river and coastal health in regional Victoria today received a $15.2 million funding boost under the Natural Heritage Trust.

This federal funding will be matched by the Victorian Government, delivering more than $30 million to protect and conserve Victoria’s environment over the next two years. Environmental work to be funded will specifically target native vegetation, catchment planning, dryland salinity, river health, coastal management, threatened species, landcare and private forestry.

The funding – announced today by Federal Environment Minister, Dr David Kemp; Federal Agriculture Minister, Warren Truss; Victorian Minister for Environment, John Thwaites; and Victorian Minister for Agriculture, Bob Cameron – will be shared among the state’s 10 Catchment Management Authority regions. These cover the state’s North East, North Central, East Gippsland, West Gippsland, Port Phillip and Westernport, Corangamite, Glenelg-Hopkins, Wimmera, Mallee, and Goulburn-Broken areas.

Dr Kemp said today’s funding announcement is an interim payment to maintain the momentum of major environmental work underway statewide.

Minister Thwaites added Victoria was leading other states in reaching agreement under the Natural Heritage Trust and providing matching State funding.

The interim NHT funding will provide:

“Further funding under the Trust and National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality program (NAPSWQ) will be released once regional catchment strategies have been accredited by Commonwealth and State Ministers,” Dr Kemp said.

“These strategies are developed by community-based regional Catchment Management Authorities in consultation with key stakeholders in the regions and provide the basis for regional investment plans which outline how Trust funding will be spent.”

To date, one regional catchment strategy in Victoria – Glenelg Hopkins – has been jointly accredited by Commonwealth and State Ministers. The remaining nine strategies are expected to be ready for accreditation within the next four to six months. It is planned to have all regional catchment strategies accredited by late 2003.

“These regional catchment strategies will form the backbone of natural resource management in Victoria. They are will be driven by Catchment Management Authorities who are key players in delivering real and sustainable environmental outcomes,” Minister Thwaites said.

Minister Cameron said the North East, East Gippsland, West Gippsland and Port Phillip regions will receive a share of the Trust funding announced today to help review and develop their regional catchment strategies and investment plans.

“Aside from delivering natural resource management outcomes, a major focus of the funding is also aimed at further improving relationships with local government authorities, namely councils. This is important, as local councils are a key partner in delivering natural resource management outcomes in an integrated and efficient manner,” he said.

Minister Truss said there are more than 60 natural resource management regions Australia-wide and a regional natural resource management strategy will be developed for each.

“These regions will form the basis of natural resource management activity and investment across the nation,” Mr Truss said.

“The $15.2 million announced today is in addition to $35 million recently approved under the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality for natural resource management projects throughout Victoria.

“These projects cover a wide range of activities such as revegetation, fencing to protect aquatic habitat and threatened species, improving farm productivity and sustainable practices, stabilising river banks, and improving water quality.

“Much of the significant environmental work already under way in regional Victoria is funded under the Howard/Anderson Government’s $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust and $1.4 billion National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality – the largest environmental action programs ever introduced by any Australian Government.

“The beauty of these national programs is that they are based on a cooperative working partnership between the community and all levels of government to protect our environment and natural resources while sustaining our agricultural industries and regional communities.

“The fact that environment work funded by these programs is largely driven by local communities, who best know their region, has delivered real on-ground results.”

Details of the projects are attached.

Media Contacts:
Catherine Job (Minister Kemp’s office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 221 433
Tim Langmead (Minister Truss’ office) 02 6277 7520 or 0408 648 400
Ilsa Colson (Minister Thwaites’ office) 03 9651 5799 or 0418 368 639
Kim Carter (Minister Cameron’s office) 03 9651 5799 or 0419 294094

East Gippsland Catchment Planning
Native Vegetation
Sustainable Dryland
River Health
Private Forestry
Coastal Management, Threatened Species
East Gippsland CMA contact: Russell Broomhall 03 5153 0462 Total $2,280,786
West Gippsland Catchment Planning
Native Vegetation
Sustainable Dryland)
River Health
Private Forestry
Coastal Management, Threatened Species Other
West Gippsland CMA contact: Martin Fuller 03 5662 4555 Total $1,816,192
Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Planning
Native Vegetation
Sustainable Dryland
River Health
Coastal Management, Threatened Species, Private Forestry
Port Phillip and Westenport contact: CMA David Thomas 03 9785 0119 Total $1,895,250
North East Catchment Planning
Native Vegetation
Sustainable Dryland
River Health
North East CMA contact: Tom Croft 02 6043 7600 Total $2,148,675
North Central Catchment Planning
Native Vegetation
River Health
North Central CMA contact: Mick Davidson 03 5440 1803 Total $1,326,350
Corangamite Native Vegetation
Sustainable Dryland
River Health
Private Forestry
Coastal Management, Threatened Species
Corangamite CMA contact: Peter Codd 03 5232 9104 Total $856,447
Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Planning
Native Vegetation
Sustainable Dryland
River Health
Coastal Management, Threatened Species
Glenelg Hopkins CMA contact: Laurie Norman 03 5343 2555 Total $917,875
Wimmera Native Vegetation
Sustainable Dryland
Wimmera CMA contact: Glenn Dixon 03 5382 1544 Total $1,252,600
Mallee Native Vegetation
Sustainable Dryland
River Health
Mallee CMA contact: Damian Wells 03 5022 4354 Total $905,825
Goulburn Broken Sustainable Dryland, Native Vegetation
Threatened Species Native Vegetation
River Health
Private Forestry
Goulburn Broken CMA contact: Megan McFarlane 03 5822 2288 Total $1,800,000
Commonwealth of Australia