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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
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Mr Warren Truss
ACT Chief Minister
Jon Stanhope
ACT Liberal Senator
Gary Humphries

18 June 2004

$500,000 to engage the ACT in natural resource management

The people of the ACT will benefit from the employment of 13 facilitators and coordinators to support community participation in natural resource management.

The Natural Heritage Trust will provide $500,000 for the coordinator project funded by the Australian and ACT Governments. The project was announced today by Australian Government Ministers for Environment and Heritage, David Kemp, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss, and ACT Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope.

Dr Kemp said the funds would enable facilitators and coordinators to provide training, workshops, trials and demonstrations, field days, planning and monitoring and evaluation of on-ground natural resource management activities.

"Providing land-holders and community groups with the understanding and skills to contribute to conservation and sustainable natural resource management is vital," he said.

"This funding ensures community groups have access to the expertise of coordinators and facilitators in planning and performing on-ground environmental actions, such as restoring wetlands, replanting native vegetation and improving water quality."

Mr Truss said the funding demonstrated the Australian Government's commitment to supporting regional communities to initiate projects that led to sustainable natural resource management solutions.

"These full-time facilitators and coordinators will also help communities to develop the ACT's Natural Resource Management Plan and Investment Strategy," Mr Truss said.

"The Management Plan is the blueprint for addressing the ACT's most pressing environment and sustainability issues such as fire recovery and water quality, and the investment strategy prioritises the funding for on-ground works."

Mr Stanhope said the half a million dollar investment would help engage people of the ACT in practical environmental activities in the region.

"This will help to build genuine community engagement, from awareness raising to information and knowledge-sharing, to skill development and training," he said.

Senator Humphries added that regional groups were the backbone in managing our natural resources and that this funding ensured they had the people to sustain the valuable community momentum.

"A wonderful feature of the Natural Heritage Trust is its commitment to supporting local solutions to local environmental problems. However, good ideas only go so far if we don't have the tools to implement them," he said.

"The skills learned from this co-coordinator program will not only benefit those trained, but will be passed down to other ACT residents."

The half-a-million dollar investment comes from the Australian Government's $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust and ACT Government funds.

Commonwealth of Australia