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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
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
&
Federal Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation
The Hon. Ian Macdonald

7 May 2004

646 community projects funded by Envirofund


Thousands of volunteers are again teaming up with the Australian Government to tackle local environmental problems head-on, thanks to $8.5 million from the Australian Government Envirofund.

Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and Minister for Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald, said today $8.5 million had been approved for 646 projects across Australia in the second round of the Envirofund for 2003-04.

This round involves grants of up to $30,000 for community groups to undertake local projects aimed at conserving native plants and wildlife and promoting natural resource management.

Dr Kemp said the popular Envirofund was the local community component of the Australian Government's $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust — the largest environmental rescue effort ever undertaken by an Australian Government.

"Through Envirofund, community groups can carry out effective on-ground work such as tree-planting, fencing, weeding and seed-collecting to target local problems such as salinity, water quality, protection of native vegetation and coastal erosion," Dr Kemp said.

"Grants approved this year include $13,690 to help Eurobodalla communities care for creeks around Batemans Bay in NSW ; $12,727 to control the weed Mimosa pigra on the East Alligator Floodplain adjacent to the World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park in Northern Territory ; $27, 352 to promote indigenous cultural heritage and beliefs around Clifton Park and Australind in Western Australia ; and $15,418 to protect ancient remnant rainforest near Mt Surprise in Queensland ."

Senator Macdonald said these latest projects bring the total expenditure through the Australian Government Envirofund to $49.9 million since the program was introduced in April 2002. This funding has gone towards more than 3000 environmental projects Australia-wide. Two rounds of funding are offered each year, and for those who missed out this time, the next round for 2004-05 is now open.

"The proven 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 already underway around Australia include dune care in the Byron Bay shire in NSW, revegetation along the Katherine River in NT, rehabilitation of Wellington Mountain Park in Tasmania, and weed control of Bridal Creeper on Kangaroo Island in South Australia.

Dr Kemp said it was encouraging to see that the Envirofund had attracted applications not only from groups seeking to build on their existing on-ground works, but that a significant number of new community groups were joining the Australian Government in protecting the environment.

"Applications for grants were very competitive and of a high standard. The successful applicants are to be commended for their efforts and we look forward to seeing the results of their hard work," he said.

Applications for the next round of Envirofund close at 5pm on Friday 9 July 2004. For application forms, phone 1800 065 823 or visit www.nht.gov.au


Examples of 2003-04 Envirofund projects

New South Wales — 197 projects valued at $2 million

Victoria — 93 projects valued at $1.2 million

South Australia — 54 projects valued at $711, 068

Western Australia — 115 projects valued at $1.4 million

Queensland — 141 projects valued at $2.3 million

Australian Capital Territory — 2 projects valued at $32,682

Northern Territory — 13 projects valued at $148,603

Tasmania — 28 projects valued at $460,605

A full list of successful projects in each state funded under the Australian Government Envirofund is available on the Natural Heritage Trust web site at: http://www.nht.gov.au/envirofund/2003-2004/round-two/index.html

Commonwealth of Australia