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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 Ian Macdonald
10 May 2005
The Australian Government's focus on the hard work of community environment groups is reflected in the 2005-06 Budget, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald, announced today.
Community organisations will be able to do more to help save water and improve the health of their local waterways thanks to the $200 million Community Water Grants programme.
"The Australian Government is delivering on its 2004 election commitment of $200 million over five years through the Australian Government's Community Water Grants," Senator Campbell said.
"With over $1 million already granted for water community demonstration projects all over the country, we will soon be calling for applications for the $48.2 million allocated in grants under the programme in 2005-06."
Senator Macdonald said: "These grants will help organisations such as schools, volunteer groups or local governments implement on-the-ground water saving solutions."
The Community Water Grants are an important component of the Government's $2 billion Australian Water Fund, which promotes increased productivity and better environmental and social outcomes through investment in smart water infrastructure and technologies, improved knowledge and water management, and better practices in the stewardship of Australia's water resources.
This programme comes on top of the $20 million to be delivered to community organisations in 2005-06 through the $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust's Envirofund.
Envirofund has already helped thousands of organisations tackle local problems such as salinity, water quality and coastal erosion with practical work like tree planting, fencing, weeding and seed-collecting.
"As well, the Government is spending $40 million to help defeat the weeds menace over the next four years, through on-ground actions by communities and regions, research and public awareness," Senator Macdonald said.
"Boosting grants to local groups reflects the Government's increasing focus on funding direct, practical action to tackle our national environmental challenges," the Ministers said.
For more information see www.nrm.gov.au
Renae Stoikos (Sen Campbell) (02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
David Crisafulli (Sen Macdonald) (07) 4771 3066 or 0400 144 483