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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
15 June 2005
The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today announced $4.5 million in funding to further valuable work to protect Australia's threatened plants and animals.
The three-year funding commitment will continue the work of the Threatened Species Network, a joint community-based programme of the Australian Government and WWF Australia.
The funding will be provided from the Australian Government's $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust.
Senator Campbell made his announcement at the launch of the inaugural National Bilby Day, which will fall each year on the second Sunday in September.
"I am pleased to be part of this launch today to raise the bilby's profile and the excellent efforts of the Save the Bilby Fund in protecting and conserving it," Senator Campbell said.
"However, the bilby is just one of hundreds of threatened species - which is why the work of the 11 people who make up the Threatened Species Network is so important."
The Network is active across the country, participating last year in more than 70 committees and advisory bodies, including 40 recovery teams and around 20 advisory or steering committees at the state and regional level.
The Network also manages an annual Community Grants Programme. Over the past seven years, $3.5 million in Australian Government funding has supported around 280 projects. The successful grants are announced each year on National Threatened Species Day - 7 September.
"More than 6000 volunteers have contributed more than 18,000 days worth of their time to Threatened Species Network projects across Australia," Senator Campbell said.
The projects included a community education and sightings program for the endangered Marsupial Mole; conservation of native grasslands that are habitat for Golden Sun Moths and Striped Legless Lizards; and a collaboration between Birds Australia, local landholders and volunteer birdwatchers to restore woodland habitat for local birdlife.
"The $4.5 million funding delivers on a commitment made by the Government at the last election to continue funding for the Threatened Species Network," Senator Campbell said.
"Both National Bilby Day and Threatened Species Day are important days on the environmental calendar to inspire people to participate in activities to help save our threatened species."
For more information about Australia's threatened species visit www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
Frank Manthey (Save the Bilby Fund) 0418 726 168