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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
&
Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation
Senator the Hon. Ian Macdonald

9 December 2005

$20 million Envirofund grants for nation-wide drought recovery


Local communities will continue to tackle the drought across the country with a helping hand from the Australian Government’s Envirofund.

A total of 1145 projects will be funded with $20 million from the 2005 Drought Recovery Envirofund.

Details of successful applications for the latest round of Envirofund grants were announced today by the Australian Government Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald.

Senator Campbell said the level of interest in 2005 Drought Recovery round prompted a doubling of the Envirofund from $10 million to $20 million.

"Unprecedented demand for this special Drought Round from ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ declared areas across the country has resulted in a doubling of the funding available," Senator Campbell said.

"Projects will include regenerating native plants and grasses along eroded watercourses, controlling noxious weeds and feral pests, erecting temporary feedlots to spell paddocks and reduce erosion and desilting dams."

Senator Macdonald said that one national project was a grant of $10,227 to the Biological Farmers of Australia Co-op to run 10 practical workshops on organic farm management for farmers and catchment managers throughout drought affected Australia.

"The workshops will be held on organic farms to show how the fundamental principles of organic farming can help in drought recovery," Senator Macdonald said.

"They will include innovative management practices such as pasture cropping, composting, on-farm fodder reserves, stock grazing management and monitoring, the use of biological engineering, biodiversity management and maintenance and soil building strategies."

New South Wales, which was hit particularly hard by the drought, had a total of 689 projects funded for a total of $9,900,839. Queensland has 325 projects totalling $6,981,448; Victoria, 76 projects totalling $1,544,999; Western Australia, 33 projects totalling $1,153,747; South Australia has 19 projects totalling $420,496 and the ACT has two projects totalling $22,127.

No projects were funded in the Northern Territory or Tasmania, as they contained no Exceptional Circumstances declared areas.

Envirofund is the community-focused component of the Australian Government’s $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust. The next standard Envirofund round will open in February 2006.

For details of all projects go to http://www.nht.gov.au/envirofund/

Media contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Minister Campbell) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
David Crisafulli (Minister Macdonald) 07 4771 3066 or 0400 144

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