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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

9 May 2003

Environment Funding to Help Local Groups


Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and Federal Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald, today called on community groups and individuals to apply for environment funding under the Australian Government Envirofund.

Dr Kemp said the popular Envirofund is the community component of the Howard Government's $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust which helps thousands of Australians carry out important on-ground works such as tree planting, fencing, weeding and seed collecting.

"Through the Envirofund, community groups can apply for grants of up to $30,000 to carry out on-ground environmental action or improve their skills and knowledge to target local problems such as salinity, water quality, protection of native vegetation and coastal erosion," Dr Kemp said.

"This is the first round of the Envirofund for this year. It is in addition to the one-off $10 million Drought Recovery Round which is funding targeted works Australia-wide to protect land, water and vegetation from drought-induced damage."

Senator Macdonald said $30 million has funded some 1869 environmental projects Australia-wide since the Envirofund was introduced in April last year. Two rounds of funding are offered each year with the second round to be announced later this year.

"The beauty of Envirofund funding is that it goes directly to local community groups who have the local knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm to deliver on-ground results. Small local projects help ensure our unique biodiversity is protected and our rich resources are sustained for the next generation," he said.

Senator Macdonald said the Envirofund is an excellent example of the Federal Government and local communities working in partnership on projects to manage our natural resources and environment.

"The success of the Envirofund 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," he said.

Envirofund projects currently underway around Australia include habitat protection for waterbirds, swans and platypus at Lake Inverell in NSW; removing weeds and rubbish, and tree planting on the Tiwi Islands; and growing and planting trees to link sections of native rainforest at Atherton in far north Queensland.

The Ministers encourage community groups around the country to apply for funding under the Australian Government Envirofund to help make a real difference in their local area.

More information on the Australian Government Envirofund and application forms for funding is available by calling 1800 065 823 or visiting www.nht.gov.au. For a list of Envirofund projects underway, visit the Natural Heritage Trust website www.nht.gov.au/projects.

Media Contact:
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

Commonwealth of Australia