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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Hon Peter McGauran MP

25 October 2005

$23.8 million boost extends NRM facilitator network

The Australian Government is providing $23.8 million to extend the national Natural Resource Management (NRM) Facilitators Network for another two years.

The funding was today announced by Australian Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran.

The network is an initiative of the Australian Government’s $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust. More than 100 facilitators are located in host organisations in all states and territories, either fully funded by the Trust or in shared arrangements.

Senator Campbell said the facilitators played a vital role in guiding regional groups through the NRM funding process.

“Caring for our environment and agricultural industries is a big task, so we need people on the ground to provide practical support to communities,” Senator Campbell said.

“The facilitators understand the range of NRM programs and link governments, industry, regional bodies, non-government organisations and volunteers.”

Mr McGauran said the facilitators helped individuals and groups apply for Australian Government funding, like the Envirofund and National Landcare Programmes.

“We want to give regions simple, accessible information about our programs, so we have a variety of facilitators on hand to assist,” Mr McGauran said.

“Our Australian Government facilitators are involved in Bushcare, Coastcare, Rivercare and Landcare, while others support local governments and Indigenous land management.

“In addition we have strategic regional facilitators working in individual NRM groups around Australia, to help them plan and implement catchment-wide projects.”

“This year’s forum theme is ‘Innovation in Partnerships,’ and that’s exactly what our facilitators are all about. They act as a voice back to policy makers ensuring that governments know how communities are going with NRM work and how things can be improved,” he said.

“This week we’ll see facilitators from around Australia share experiences and absorb new information, so they can continue building local partnerships. The $23.8 million funding is a real boost to this important network.”

Media contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell) (02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
Russ Neal (Minister McGauran) (02) 6277 7520 or 0413 601 303

Commonwealth of Australia