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

28 March 2003

$3.3 Million for Environmental Drought Recovery Projects


Major on-ground environmental work will take place in drought affected communities thanks to $3.3 million from the Howard Government's $10 million Envirofund Drought Recovery Round, announced today by Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and Federal Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald.

A total of $3,307,707 in priority funding was approved for 164 projects Australia-wide under the Drought Recovery Round for applications received before the end of January this year.

"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 protecting and rehabilitating the local environment affected by the drought. Grants range from $605 to replant trees that have died in the drought to $27,273 to grow stock fodder from native species which are growing well in the these severe conditions."

The $10 million Drought Recovery Round is part of the popular Envirofund program, which is a community-focused component of the Howard Government's $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust. The Drought Recovery Round is also just one element of the $900 million package of measures introduced by the Government to help drought-affected Australian communities.

Under the Envirofund, funding is channelled directly to local community groups which have the local knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm to deliver on-ground results.

"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 is an excellent example of the Federal Government and local communities working in partnership to overcome the harsh effects of the drought on the environment.

"With funding from the Drought Recovery Round, land managers are fencing waterways to protect them from damage caused by stock grazing, implementing innovative grazing systems by restricting the area that stock can feed in so other areas can regenerate, and planting trees to stabilise the ground and act as a wind erosion barrier in the longer term. These are just a few examples of the wide range of funded projects," Senator Macdonald said.

"Many other projects focus on water quality, protecting native vegetation, and preventing salinity and coastal erosion.

"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 all their hard work."

The remaining $6.7 million of funding from this special Drought Recovery Round will be announced soon.

Media Contacts:
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


Project Examples

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 http://www.nht.gov.au/projects.

Some examples from each state are:

New South Wales

Victoria

South Australia

Western Australia

Queensland

Commonwealth of Australia