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Joint Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Warren Truss

28 July 2004

More than $12.7 million for regional environmental work

Nineteen essential and carefully-targeted environmental projects will receive more than $12.7 million in Australian Government funding over the next three years to improve Australia's environment and achieve sustainable management of our natural resources.

The funding - from the Regional Competitive Component of the Australian Government's $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust - was announced today by Australian Government Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss.

Senator Campbell said the projects, which run from one to three years, will see a variety of regional bodies working in partnership to achieve on-ground results, including saving endangered Regent Honeyeater and threatened Malleefowl, finding the cause of dieback in Mundulla Yellows, examining alternative land use plans in sugar cane growing regions and providing indigenous communities with the resources to conserve large areas of land under their control or in which they have a direct interest.

The aim of the program is to support multi-regional or cross-border projects that will lead to significant improvements in the sustainable management of natural resources.

"Environmental challenges don't stop at state borders and it makes common sense to take a multi-regional approach for some activities, including programs in biodiversity hotspots ," Senator Campbell said.

"Projects funded under this category provide an opportunity to protect our native flora and fauna and the natural resources that sustain our agricultural industries. It also enables us to apply lessons learned in one region to regions with similar issues."

Mr Truss said the projects represented carefully-targeted investments, such as the Acid Sulfate Soil Risk Mapping project for central Queensland, which will involve acid sulfate soils risk mapping in priority areas from Proserpine in the north to Miriam Vale in the south.

"The $801,000 funding for this project will assist in the management of major soil issues across two northern regions, with implications for wetlands management and reef protection," he said.

"Other projects to receive funding under the Trust's Regional Competitive Component include ones which will support innovative and community efforts to control serious introduced weeds, in this case, blackberry and bridal creeper.

"A Weed Warriors program involving local schools in the breeding and release of the bridal creeper leafhopper will be conducted to enhance the education of our future land managers. It will also help increase the immediate interest and awareness of weed management within the surrounding community."

Senator Campbell said the Ghosts Nets in the Gulf of Carpentaria project will receive a funding boost of $2,000,000 for actions in the Northern Gulf regions of Queensland and the Northern Territory.

"Gulf regions have developed a comprehensive program to address marine debris and its impacts on marine animals such as dugong, turtles and a wide range of other marine life," he said.

"The project will involve agencies, communities and industry in the Gulf regions working together in tackling marine debris which has become a major problem in the area."

Under the Trust's Regional Competitive Component, 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.

Seventeen projects received $20 million in the first round of funding under the Regional Competitive Component of the Natural Heritage Trust in November 2003 this year.

Natural Heritage Trust Regional Competitive Projects Round 2 2003-2004

Project title Total funding
New South Wales
Sustainable Wetlands on NSW Coastal Landscapes
Lead region: Hunter Central Rivers
Contact: Glenn Evans (02) 4969 4566
Enterprise Based Conservation in the Western Division
Lead region: Western Catchment Management Authority
Contact: Peter Sparkes (02) 6341 1600

Implementation of the National Regent Honeyeater Recovery Plan
Lead region: Hawkesbury-Nepean
Contact: Bernie Bugden (02) 4828 6702

Ecological health of Victorian intertidal rock platforms
Lead region: Corangamite
Contact: Dr Tim O'Hara (03) 8341 7441
Determination of Cause(s) and Management Solutions for the Fatal Dieback Syndrome, Mundulla Yellows
Lead region: Glenelg Hopkins
Contact: Stephanie Williams (08) 8222 9416
A Regional and Community-based Approach to the Biological Control of Bridal Creeper
Lead region: Port Phillip and Westernport
Contact: Raelene Kwong (03) 9785 0171
Preparing for Effective Biological Control of Blackberry
Lead region: North Central
Contact: Eligio Bruzzese (03) 9785 0106
South Australia
Wildcountry Western Corridor Project
Lead region: Eyre Peninsula NRM Group
Contact: Ms Susan Stovell (08) 8680 2646
Western Australia
Carnaby's Black Cockatoo - A cross regional recovery program for endangered endemic species
Lead region: Northern Agricultural
Contact: Cheryl Cole (08) 9293 4958 / Leonie McMahon (08) 9287 2448
State-wide seed conservation strategy for threatened species, threatened communities and biodiversity hotspots
Lead region: South Coast
Contact: Kristina Fleming (08) 9892 8487
Restoring connections between people and land in south western Australia
Lead region: South Coast
Contact: Kristina Fleming (08) 9892 8487
Malleefowl conservation - informed and integrated community action
Lead region: Avon
Contact: Cathy Lyons (08) 9690 2267
Northern Territory
Crazy Ant management and eradication in north eastern Arnhem Land
Lead region: Northern Territory
Contact: Libby Benson (08) 8999 4464
A Framework for Sustainable Sugar Catchments
Lead region: South East Queensland
Contact: Dr Adrian Volders (07) 3211 4404
Acid sulfate soil risk mapping for central Queensland
Lead region: Fitzroy
Contact: Bernie Powell (07) 3896 9398
Ghost Nets in the Gulf of Carpentaria
Lead region: Northern Gulf
Contact: John Bethel (07) 4062 1330
Australian Capital Territory
Temperate Grassland Recovery Plan
Lead region: ACT
Contact: Michael Saxon (02) 6298 9715 / David Shorthouse (02) 6207 6379
Sustainable Management of Aboriginal Coastal Lands in Tasmania
Lead region: NRM North
Contact: Lou Johnson (03) 6336 5303
Incentives for improved management of priority natural habitat in the Tasmanian Midlands Biodiversity Hotspot
Lead region: NRM South
Contact: Don Thompson (03) 6231 9481
Commonwealth of Australia