Joint Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
Federal Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation
Senator Ian Macdonald
7 May 2003
Drought-affected communities will be able to undertake major on-ground environmental work thanks to $6.7 million from the Howard Government through the Australian Government Envirofund, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald said today.
A total of $6,747,080 has been approved for 381 projects across Australia in the second round of a special drought recovery funding round of the Envirofund. This follows $3.3 million in priority drought recovery funding for 164 projects announced in March.
"This special round of funding involves grants of up to $30,000 for community groups to carry out on-ground environmental work in drought-affected areas, some of which is already underway as well as new projects that are about to start," Dr Kemp said.
"These successful projects are aimed at protecting and rehabilitating the local environment affected by the drought. Grants approved include $1000 to repair and stabilise erosion on Cox's Creek on the NSW-Queensland border; $19,728 to muster and remove feral camels north east of Alice Springs which are causing damage to ecologically sensitive mulga woodlands, grasslands and sand dune ecosystems; and $30,000 to reduce the impact of weeds in the Bunya Mountains foothills in south-east Queensland and regenerate the area with native plants."
The $10 million drought recovery round is part of the popular Envirofund program, which is the community component of the Howard Government's $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust. The drought recovery round of the Envirofund is one element of a $900 million package of measures introduced by the Howard Government to help drought-affected Australian communities.
"The drought recovery round is an unprecedented initiative introduced by the Howard Government, which recognises the importance of protecting Australia's environment from severe drought conditions. Not only will this initiative help protect our precious natural resources, it will help protect the long-term productivity of rural land," Dr Kemp said.
Senator Macdonald said the Envirofund drought recovery round was an excellent example of the Federal Government and local communities working in partnership to overcome the harsh effects of the drought on the environment.
"Encouragingly, applications were received not only from groups seeking to maintain and build upon their existing on-ground work but from a large number of new community groups working in partnership with the Natural Heritage Trust for the first time," Senator Macdonald said.
"With funding from the drought recovery round, land managers are fencing off waterways from livestock to protect them from damage and erosion; introducing sustainable grazing practices to promote ground cover, reduce erosion and weed invasion; protecting coastal vegetation; and minimising the threat of drought-induced wildfires and firestorms. These are just a few examples of the wide range of drought projects funded.
"Applications for grants under the Drought Recovery Round were very competitive and of a very high standard. The successful applicants are to be commended for their outstanding efforts and we look forward to seeing the results of their hard work."
The next general round of Envirofund will be announced this Friday with applications closing 5pm, Friday 4 July 2003. For application forms, phone 1800 065 823 or visit www.nht.gov.au. Details of Envirofund projects are available by visiting www.nht.gov.au/projects.
Catherine Job (Dr Kemp's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Phil Connole (Senator Macdonald's office) 02 6277 7270 or 0417 063 605
A full list of successful projects in each state that are receiving funding through the special Drought Recovery Round of the Australian Government Envirofund is available on the Natural Heritage Trust web site at www.nht.gov.au/projects
Some examples from each state are:
New South Wales
- $7,300 to improve the health of the Bellingen River, 29 km west of Bellingen in far north NSW, by preventing riverbank erosion, improving water quality and the area's biodiversity. The project will involve repairing and stabilising existing erosion and revegetating the riverbank, riparian zone and upper bank with native species.
- $15,935 to preserve native vegetation and wildlife habitat in Nymboida, west of Grafton in far north NSW, reduce the impact of stock and weed invasion and raise awareness of the importance of good stream management practices.
- $5,724 to promote productive and sustainable agriculture in the Warrah Creek catchment, 10km south west of Quirindi in northern NSW. A broad band of trees will slow lateral water flow and filter sediments and nutrients from run-off, reducing erosion and improving water quality.
- $23,616 to protect the waterway and drought proof the Urabrible Landcare area, 20 km south east of Coonabarabran in northern NSW. The project will involve fencing off the creek and improving the stability of creek banks and water quality.
- $12,900 for the Jimberoo Landcare Group to address local environmental degradation issues in the area, 5 km north west of Rankins Springs in central NSW. The project will stabilise an extensive area of gully erosion through revegetation works and fencing.
- $26,664 to protect riparian vegetation along Bendigo Creek, near Dingee north of Bendigo in central Victoria. The project will involve fencing to exclude stock to reduce bank erosion and pollution of the creek.
- $11,910 to restore Nanneella Bushland Reserve at Nanneella, north east of Bendigo in central Victoria. The project will remove rubbish on the site and the dam will be filled in and sown to suitable indigenous vegetation.
- $4,840 to enhance the natural resources of Kyabram in central Victoria by protecting remnant vegetation, revegetating public land, weed control and clearing rubbish.
- $11,709 to revegetate and protect degraded lands on Leigh Creek Station, near Copley in eastern SA. This project will create suitable conditions for seed germination and growth at two sites on the property.
- $10,910 to improve the quality of land and develop measures to counteract land erosion near Hawker in eastern SA. The project will involve planting and direct seeding.
- $17,334 to increase dam capacity at Nantawarrina in eastern SA and support the revegetation of a bush-tucker orchid. The project will provide sustainable water flow to the orchard and native fauna.
- $13,310 to control goats and reduce grazing pressure to protect biodiversity values on land near Leigh Creek in eastern SA reducing the large population of feral goats eating the native vegetation.
- $8,110 to fence and revegetate Woodland and Granite ecosystems in the upper Welbungin catchment, north east of Northam. The project will protect malleefowl habitat, improve the habitat value and reduce erosion.
- $4,550 to protect remnant vegetation in North Warralakin, north east of Merredin, by fencing and revegetating. The project will exclude stock and reduce the impacts of grazing.
- $15,128 to provide drought relief for Woodland birds by fencing off key Woodland bird habitat near Latham 300 kilometres north east of Perth. All remnants will be monitored and protected.
- $27,273 to reverse the impacts of wind erosion in the Yarra Yarra catchment near Perenjori in south west Western Australia, identify broad scale wind eroded areas and use fencing and tree planting to restore these areas.
- $6,437 to revegetate drought-affected areas of Hydillowah Farm, 16 km east of Hyden, in southern Western Australia by using locally collected seedlings to replace 15,000 seedlings which died in the drought.
- $25,855 to implement on ground conservation works to help landholders in the Upper Forest Springs catchment, 6 km north of Goomburra in south east Qld, manage their natural resources to achieve greater sustainability. The project will involve soil conditioning and protective fencing.
- $27,273 to nurture Neuragully Waterhole, 131 km east of Bedourie in far western Qld, by fencing the remaining two un-fenced sides of the waterhole to promote regeneration of native vegetation along the billabong banks and floodplains and prevent further destabilisation of the soil.
- $21,273 to protect the Tommydonka Waterhole - an important drought refuge wetland 55 km south of Bedourie in far western Qld - from stock during drought by fencing off the waterhole into a paddock. This paddock can be open for grazing during good seasons.
- $27,423 to promote sustainable grazing practices in the Peak Downs Shire, near Capella in central Qld, to reduce the impacts of drought and promote better management of riparian vegetation and ground cover management to reduce further erosion and weed invasion when the drought breaks.
- $2,556 to transport water from an existing pipeline to a point near the Boorabooka Waterhole, 110 km south of Cunnamulla in south west Qld, to provide water for household, stock and animals especially a small colony of Swamp Wallabies.
Australian Capital Territory
- $27,046 to provide riparian rehabilitation in drought affected and fire damaged south-west rural ACT. The project will protect streambanks from erosion as well as enable the re-establishment of the riparian fences and off-river stock watering points destroyed in the 18 January bushfires.
- $19,728 to reduce the damage caused by feral camels in ecologically sensitive mulga woodlands, grasslands and sand dune ecosystems on property 400km south west of Alice Springs. The project will involve mustering and removing the feral camels and transporting them to more suitable environments.
- $21,855 to protect coastal vegetation on the Tasman Peninsula, south east of Hobart, and reduce the threat of drought induced wildfires and firestorms exacerbated by the invasion of Pinus radiata trees. Pine invasion on the Tasman Peninsula occurs in the vicinity of vital local infrastructure and housing.