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Media Release
Acting Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz

11 May 2006

Envirofund to kickstart $20 million in projects


Hard-working community groups and individuals will carry on the fight to protect our natural resources in 2006-07 thanks to $20 million from the Australian Government Envirofund.

Acting Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, and Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, Senator Eric Abetz, today said the Federal Budget included a multi-million dollar funding package for activities to care for our land, rivers and coasts.

“This fantastic programme has already provided over $90 million in support for almost 6,000 projects across the country,” Senator Abetz said.

“Today we reinforce our commitment to the Envirofund with a further $20 million for communities to continue tackling issues like salinity, poor water quality, erosion and taking care of native species.

“The Envirofund is the local action component of the Australian Government’s Natural Heritage Trust, and a part of the biggest environmental rescue effort since federation.

“Each year we offer grants of up to $50,000 to support a diverse range of projects, from weeding and fencing bushland to trialing new techniques for sustainable farming.

“It’s about getting money where it’s needed most – to the people who have the local knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm to deliver results.

“In my home state of Tasmania, for example, the Cooee to Camdale Coastcare Group has used some of its funding to build nests for Little Penguins on Burnie beach.

“Over in Western Australia the students of Boyanup Primary School have been restoring a weed-infested riverbank behind the school.

Senator Abetz said many landholders had benefitted from Envirofund support.

“Farmers are really leading the way on natural resource management, and we’ll do everything we can to help them,” he said.

“Last year we provided funding for a special Drought Round for people to undertake projects to protect land, water and plants and animals from the impacts of drought.

“South Australia’s Besanko Pastoral Company received more than $20,000 to stabilise and stop sheep grazing on the banks of a severly damaged waterway on the family property.

“Up north, Queensland landholders in Kin Kin, near Noosa, were able to weed and replant some of the few remaining areas of rainforest in the area.

“These are just a few examples of the thousands of projects we fund each and every year, and I look forward to seeing what Australians can achieve in 2006-07.”

Round 8 applicants affected by Cyclone Larry or the recent Katherine floods still have until 19 May to apply for funding. All other proposals were submitted by 28 April. For more information about the Envirofund visit www.nht.gov.au/envirofund.

Media Contacts:
Brad Stansfield 0419 884 666

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