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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP



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Joint Media Release
Dr David Kemp
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Warren Truss
Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

7 April 2004

$20 million for grand-scale environment initiatives

$20 million in funds from the Australian Government will be used on 17 significant environmental projects aimed at achieving sustainable management across the country.

The package was unveiled by Australian Minister for Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss.

During a visit to Perth with Liberal Federal Candidate for Hasluck, Stuart Henry, Dr Kemp said a number of important programs in Western Australia will benefit from the money, which is funded from the Regional Competitive Component of the Australian Government's $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust.

“$1,540,000 will be shared to ensure better ecological condition and improve productivity in Western Australia' s Gascoyne/Murchison and Goldfields/Nullarbor areas,” Dr Kemp said.

“This will be achieved through sustainable livestock production systems and by building capacity for change among family-run pastoral enterprises.”

Dr Kemp said the $198,000 for the invasive dieback (Phytophthora cinnamoni) project would help develop threat assessment maps and protect further species from being affected by the virus.

“The maps will be relevant for ALL Western Australian regions to help recognise areas of critical importance in protecting sections of high biodiversity that are at risk,” Dr Kemp said.

Money to protect the nations biodiversity hot spots, many in Western Australia, will ensure some of the country's riches areas of native plants and animals can be protected.

WA's Mt Lesueur Eneabba, home to more than 250 indigenous plant species and a stronghold for reptiles, and the Geraldton to Shark Bay sand plain, with its diverse range of endemic plants and many reptiles, endemic small skinks and the Western Australian Carpet Python will receive funding.

Dr Kemp said the projects, which run from one to three years, are funded from the Regional Competitive Component of the Australian Government's $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust.

The aim of the Regional Competitive Component is to support multi regional or cross jurisdictional large-scale projects that will lead to significant improvements in the sustainable management of natural resources.

“Environmental challenges don't stop at state borders and land degradation isn't confined to regional boundaries so it makes common sense to build on the regional approach to natural resource management by taking a multi-regional approach when required,” Mr Truss said.

“If we are to protect our native flora and fauna, and the natural resource that sustain our agricultural industries, we need to develop projects collaboratively and apply lessons learned in one region to regions with similar issues.”

Mr Truss said the projects represented carefully targeted investments, such as the Rangelands partnership, which will engage pastoralists, technical advisers and other stakeholders to improve rangeland management and pastoral profitability in semi-arid Australia.

Under the Trust's Regional Competitive process, regional natural resource management bodies around Australia submitted proposals for assessment by Joint Commonwealth-State Steering Committees in each State and Territory.

The projects were then prioritised by the Natural Heritage Trust Advisory Committee, which brings together some of Australia's most respected scientific and natural resource management experts.

Both Ministers have encouraged regions to submit proposals for the second round of Regional Competitive funding in April 2004.

The full list of Regional Competitive projects is attached.

Natural Heritage Trust Regional Competitive Projects 2003-2004

Project title Total funding
National Swift Parrot Recovery Plan. NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS, QLD, SA
Lead region: Murray Catchment
Contact: David Heap (02) 6298 0355
Biodiversity Conservation in the Sheep - Wheat Belt of NSW (ACT) –
Grassy Box Woodland Conservation Management Network
Biodiversity Action Planning
Lead region: Murray Catchment
Contact: David Heap (02) 6298 0355
The Next Step – Land Management Options After Capping and Piping the Bores, NSW, QLD
Lead region: Western Catchment
Contact: Allan McGufficke (02) 6895 2033
Healthy Soils-Healthy Landscapes - Land managers diagnosing soil problems and implementing solutions, NSW, ACT
Lead region: Murrumbidgee Catchment
Contact: John Searson (02 6923 0439
Integrated Biodiversity Management Project, NSW, QLD
Lead region: Northern Rivers Catchment
Contact: Josh Chivers (02) 6653 0113
Pilot project across two NRM Regions to implement conservation actions for Threatened Flora and Ecological Communities in the Geraldton to Shark Bay Sandplain and the Mount Lesueur Eneabba Biodiversity Hotspots, WA
Lead region: Northern Agricultural
Contact: John Braid (08) 9954 1004
Phytophthora cinnamoni : Mapping the threats and building the capacity to manage them, WA
Lead region: South Coast
Contact: Paula Deegan (08) 9892 8512
Developing and implementing best-practice management for fire-tolerant mesquite in Australia, WA
Lead region: Rangelands (Pilbara Mesquite)
Contact: Kel Baldock (08) 9455 5477
Building Partnerships to Improve Rangeland Management and Pastoral Profitability in Semi-Arid Australia, WA, SA, NSW
Lead region: Rangelands
Contact: Kel Baldock (08) 9455 5477
Saving the biodiversity of the Great Victoria Desert in SA and WA by assessing the impacts of feral camels and formulating strategies for their control - An East Meets West / NatureLinks Project
Lead region: Aboriginal lands
Contact: Paula Peeters (08) 8688 3171
Victorian Volcanic Plains Ecosystems, VIC
Conservation Project
Lead region: Corangamite Catchment
Contact: (03) 5232 9100
Estuary Entrance Management - balancing ecological and socioeconomic values, VIC
Lead region: Glenelg Hopkins
Contact: (03) 5571 2526
Dugong/ Turtle Project, NT
Lead region: Northern Territory
Contact: Andrew Walker (02) 6274 2436
Developing knowledge-based fire management for northern Australia savanna communities: Phase 1, NT, WA, QLD
Lead region: Northern Territory
Contact: Gordon Duff (08) 8946 6834
Advancing On-Ground Nature Conservation in the Desert Uplands Bioregion, QLD
Lead region: Desert Channels
Contact: Peter Douglas (07) 4658 6176
Ghost Nets in the Gulf of Carpentaria, NT
Lead region: Northern Gulf
Noelene Gross (07) 4062 1330
Arid Rivers Natural & Cultural Heritage Project, SA, QLD
Lead region: Rangelands
Contact: Andrew White (08) 8648 5194
TOTAL $20,092,284
Commonwealth of Australia