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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 Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Warren Truss
Federal Member for Parramatta
Ross Cameron MP

18 May 2004

$5.4 million to encourage Sydney metro environmental volunteers

Communities in the Sydney metro region will benefit from training, education and awareness raising activities to improve natural resource management and increase volunteer participation thanks to $5.4 million from the Australian Government.

The funding package, from the Australian Government's $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust, was announced today by Australian Government Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss.

While visiting Arrunga Gardens in Wentworthville, Dr Kemp said that of the funds, $600,000 would be invested in 2003-04 in priority natural resource management activities identified in the Sydney Metro Investment Strategy, with $4.8 million to be invested over the next three years to protect and restore the natural assets of the Sydney Metro region.

"As part of this investment, $185,000 will be used to encourage community participation in volunteer groups such as Bushcare and Rivercare which are at the coal face — implementing on-ground actions that will make a difference to Sydney's environment," he said.

"The funds will also be used to work with local government and the nursery industry to promote local native plants, tackle environmental weeds and maintain wildlife corridors.

"These projects will underpin planning and controls that will improve habitat of urban streams and waterways."

The Sydney metro region boasts: Australia's most famous waterway, Sydney Harbour ; three nationally listed threatened ecological communities ; Australia's oldest National Park — the Royal National Park; plus nationally and internationally significant wetlands including Towra Point Reserve, a Ramsar wetland that hosts more than 30 species of migratory birds and 230 species of fish.

Mr Truss added Sydney Metro's natural resources underpinned significant economic activity.

"The region has Australia's largest and most diverse economy and is Australia's major international gateway," he said.

"It supports a $400,000 inshore fishing industry as well as significant aquaculture and horticultural industries.

"This investment will help protect and restore the natural assets of this region and the long-term sustainability of the industries that depend on them."

Mr Cameron encouraged communities in the Sydney Metro region to take advantage of the investment, which will be managed for the people, by the people.

"The Sydney Metro Catchment Management Authority will manage these projects for the region, all of which encompass the Parramatta electorate and will deliver benefits to the local environment," he said.

"For all those wanting to get involved in protecting and conserving the Sydney Metro region, a network of facilitators will be funded through this investment to offer guidance and support."

Today's announcement will bring investment from the Natural Heritage Trust in the Sydney Metro region to $1,051,900 in 2003-04.

For further information on priority projects for the Sydney Metro region contact Peter Dixon at the Sydney Metro Local Establishment Team on 02 9895 7320.

A full list of priority projects in the Sydney Metro Region funded under the Natural Heritage Trust is attached.

Projects funded under the Natural Heritage trust for the Sydney metro region 2003-04

Project / Management Action NHT Investment 2003/04
Green Web Sydney - Integrated Biodiversity Management for Local Government
An integrated package of projects aimed to conserve and enhance biodiversity at the local government level within the Sydney region. The program will deliver a suite of targeted outcomes for local councils including educational workshops, promotional material, model planning instruments, corridor mapping, and on-ground works preferentially using local provenance native plant stock.
Integrated Weed Management
An integrated package of weed management initiatives designed primarily as educational tools for community, industry and Local Government. This strategic approach to regional weed management will assist to reduce the spread of three of the most damaging noxious weeds in the Sydney metropolitan area.
Urban Stream Dechannelisation Program
This project will:
  • Identify current science planning and management investment relating to managing and improving highly modified streams;
  • Identify gaps in these areas and coordinate with all relevant stakeholder in the catchments;
  • Coordinate most cost effective urban stream rehabilitation while achieving maximum ecological benefit.
Sydney Harbour Sea Grass and Other Estuarine Vegetation
A comprehensive inventory, database and map of the estuarine vegetation (past, present and modelled habitat). An agreed approach to site-specific assessment and long term monitoring.

Enables day-to-day and strategic planning decisions to ensure the protection and enhancement of Sydney Harbour's estuarine vegetation. The regional mapping and modelling enables all stakeholders to make site specific decisions, address statutory requirements and develop a process to keep information up to date and disseminated
Sydney Harbour Riverine Corridor Ecology
A comprehensive inventory, database and mapping of terrestrial riverine corridor vegetation communities and instream freshwater habitat values throughout the Board area. The project will develop and implement a system that collects and disseminates information on the natural values such as vegetation condition, threatened species, terrestrial and aquatic habitat as well as identify opportunities to protect and enhance connectivity. The project will set directions for future management of activities in the riverine corridor to protect and enhance the natural values.
Community Support Program
This project provides support for community on-ground action in the Sydney region. The Community Support Officers will assist in the coordinated delivery of advice and training to deliver biodiversity, water, land and cultural outcomes and increase volunteer participation in local Landcare, Rivercare and Bushcare groups .
Commonwealth of Australia