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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
14 June 2005
The work of 128 voluntary environment and heritage groups around Australia received a significant boost today with the announcement of more than $750,000 in grants under the Australian Government's Grants to Voluntary Environment and Heritage Organisations (GVEHO) programme.
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, announced the general purpose grants at the historic St John's Schoolhouse in Canberra today, accompanied by Senator for the Australian Capital Territory, Gary Humphries.
Senator Campbell said the programme recognised the important role voluntary organisations play in protecting our land, animals and historic places.
"We are lucky in Australia to have so many people dedicated to caring for the Australian landscape and living history, often volunteering their time and working with limited resources," he said.
"The volunteers at St John's Schoolhouse are just a few of the many thousands of committed volunteers across Australia who care enough about their local native plants and animals, wetlands and river foreshores, or small piece of Australia's history, to be involved in their ongoing protection and conservation.
"I am pleased to be able to assist so many groups so they can continue this important work. Importantly, 91 new organisations that were not funded last year will receive funding this year.
"In allocating this year's grants I considered each organisation's track record and their potential to deliver on-ground environment projects or contribute to the protection of Australia's heritage," he said.
Senator Campbell said that for the first time a number of organisations would be offered multi-year grants for the three-year period 2005 to 2007. This commitment by the Australian Government to local organisations will give them certainty and make it easier to plan for the future with greater financial security.
Groups that may have missed out on funding this year were encouraged to apply in the next round of funding, which will be announced in coming months.
"Over the last six years the Australian Government has provided more than $7.8 million to environment and heritage organisations under this programme. Groups can also access funding under the $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust, $1.4 billion National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality and $3 million Sharing Australia's Stories programme," Senator Campbell said.
Media Contact: Renae Stoikos 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434