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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

15 April 2005

Communities tap into Water Grants

Community organisations across Australia will soon be able to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to help save water or improve the health of their local waterways.

Australian Environment Minister Senator Ian Campbell and Conservation Minister Senator Ian Macdonald today officially announced 27 demonstration Community Water Grant projects which will receive over $1 million to help find practical ways to improve the environment.

To establish the programme, a demonstration round of projects has commenced. Grants have provided the projects around Australia to 'demonstrate' that local communities can take a broad range of practical actions adapted to local needs.

The Australian Government's Community Water Grants programme is part of the $2 billion Australian Government Water Fund. The Grants provide up to $50,000 for community organisations to put in place practical on-the-ground solutions to solve local water problems.

It is open to community organisations such as schools, local governments, sporting groups and voluntary organisations.

"In some instances the grants can be combined to provide grants of a larger scale to community based Non-Government Organisations. " Senator Campbell said.

"The Community Water Grants demonstration projects announced today show how communities can make a big difference by employing simple but clever solutions.

"For example the Bulimba State School in Queensland will use the grant to install a rainwater tank to help irrigate the school's oval, while the North Sydney Council will install a rainwater harvesting system to flush toilets in their community centre" he said.

Senator Macdonald said when the open call for applications is fully launched in June this year, community groups in rural, regional and metropolitan Australia will be able to throw their hat in the ring for funding.

"I encourage any community organisation with a good idea regarding water or our waterways to start thinking about how they can access this funding," Senator Macdonald said.

"Local people have the best knowledge to solve local problems and this programme will help provide the resources to get the job done."

For more information on the demonstration round go to the Australian Government's Community Water Grants page on the NRM web site.

Media contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Minister Campbell) 0418 568 434
David Crisafulli (Minister Macdonald 0400 144 483

Commonwealth of Australia