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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

28 August 2006

Review of Cape York land and sea management centre funding

Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, have announced a review of Natural Heritage Trust funding arrangements for land and sea management centres in Cape York Peninsula.

Senator Campbell said that with project reports pointing to mixed results from on-ground achievements in the Cape, it was appropriate to review the land and sea centres and ascertain what needed to be done to improve programme delivery.

“The success of the Natural Heritage Trust in bringing about positive environmental gains depends largely on harnessing the enthusiasm and efforts of local communities,” Senator Campbell said.

“In Cape York, the setting up of land and sea management centres has been seen as an important means of mobilizing those efforts in Indigenous communities. What we must do is ensure we are getting the best possible results from that investment.”

Mr McGauran said it was important that resources were targeted at areas of highest priority.

“We need the best return on our investment and to deliver for the environment,” Mr McGauran said.

The review will be undertaken by an experienced external organisation, which will make recommendations on future funding as well as reporting on progress to date. It is expected to be completed by early October 2006.

“Advice from the review will help the Australian Government make decisions about future funding, building on successes and trying to improve results,” Mr McGauran said.

The land and sea management centres were set up with Natural Heritage Trust funding in Cape York Peninsula in 2002.

The role of the centres includes working with the traditional owners to develop plans to best protect and manage the area’s natural and cultural resources. Since 2002, 13 indigenous communities have received land and sea centre funding.

Media contacts:
Rob Broadfield (Senator Campbell’s office) 02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902
Nancy Joseph (Minister McGauran’s office) 02 6277 7520

Commonwealth of Australia