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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 July 2005

Envirofund helps ease drought impact


Community groups and individuals in Exceptional Circumstances-declared areas are invited to apply for grants up to $50,000 from the Australian Government Envirofund.

Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald, today jointly announced the opening of the second Drought Recovery Round of the Envirofund.

Senator Campbell said Envirofund was the local component of the $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust.

“Since it was launched in 2002, the Government has approved more than 4,700 community-based projects and given away more than $70 million in funding,” Senator Campbell said.

“This has translated to massive on-ground action to protect the environment and improve sustainable agriculture. Critical issues such as salinity, poor water quality, erosion, loss of native plant and animals are just some of the problems that are being addressed by the Australian Government Envirofund.

“The Drought Recovery Round is just one of a series of activities targeted at drought-affected communities announced by the Prime Minister last month.”

Senator Macdonald said, to be eligible for funding, projects under the special drought Envirofund round must aim at protecting land, water, plant and animal life from the effects of the drought.

“Projects should help prepare the natural resources for drought recovery, or attempt to prevent environmental damage when the drought ends,” Senator Macdonald said.

“Types of eligible projects include fencing to protect riverbanks and waterways, earth works to control erosion and weeding to improve native vegetation or pasture condition. More information and examples of eligible activities are in the application form.

“The Envirofund criteria has been especially tailored for this round to include projects needed in a drought situation. I urge people in Exceptional Circumstances-declared areas, particularly farmers, to apply for funding.”

Applications close Friday 26 August 2005.

For copies of the application form visit www.nht.gov.au/envirofund, or call 1800 065 823.

Media contacts:
Minister Campbell   Renae Stoikos   (02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
Minister Macdonald   David Crisafulli   (07) 4771 3066 or 0400 144 483

Commonwealth of Australia