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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
&
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Peter McGauran MP

2 December 2005

$5 million to boost environmental management


Up to $5 million in extra funding will be provided by Australian, State and Territory governments for round two of the National Market Based Instruments Pilot Programme.

The funding boost was announced today by the Australian Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran.

Market based instruments (MBIs) are financial arrangements that encourage better environmental outcomes. They can include payments by governments to community or primary producer groups, trading mechanisms such as licences for specific environmental activities, or permits for development with offsets such as clearing one area but replanting trees in an adjacent area.

Mr McGauran said Round One of the programme had shown that well designed MBIs deliver environmental outcomes at a lower cost than non-market based approaches.

Round Two will continue to investigate innovations in MBIs and address knowledge gaps.

“Round Two will build on the success of Round One to move MBIs from trial to implementation phase,” Mr McGauran said.

“This will help catchment authorities and regional bodies to use MBIs in implementing the $1.4 billion National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality and the $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust.”

Senator Campbell said MBIs enabled governments to support the important role of primary producers in the delivery of environmental outcomes on the community’s behalf.

“Over the past three years, economists, scientists and policy experts have worked with regional bodies to test the most effective ways MBIs can help combat problems such as dryland salinity, water quality in streams and conserving habitat on private land,” Senator Campbell said.

“Using field and laboratory trials, they have produced some encouraging results.

“One of the pilots successfully tested the application of market based instruments to encourage cooperation between landholders in the development of vegetation corridors in the Desert Uplands region of Queensland.

“Another project in the Avon region of Western Australia achieved a range of environmental benefits, including reducing salinity and preserving biodiversity at significantly lower cost than current approaches.”

The National Market Based Instruments Pilot Programme is part of the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality; more information at www.napswq.gov.au/mbi/index.html

The second round of funding for the programme will open in early 2006.

For further information contact Coral Hiscock (03) 5336 6614.

Media contact:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office) 0418 568 434 - 02 6277 7640
Russ Neal (Mr McGauran’s office) 02 6277 7520 or 0413 601 303

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