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12 May 2009
The Federal Government has put Australia's environment at the heart of the nation's economic recovery, with over $4.8 billion committed to environment measures in the portfolio of Peter Garrett, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts since the 2008 09 Budget.
"This year's budget builds on the Rudd Government's unprecedented commitment to the largest ever household energy efficiency package while maintaining and strengthening the investment in our nation's rich natural heritage.
"The Rudd Government has invested more than 4.4 billion in saving energy across households and the community, which includes $4.0 billion Energy Efficient Homes Package announced as part of the Nation Building and Jobs Plan, funding in this Budget of $245.3 million for the Solar Homes and Communities Plan, and new funding of $100.0 million for a new National Energy Efficiency Initiative that encourages a smarter and more efficient energy network and $64.6 million for streamlined energy efficiency measures.
In our natural environment, the Minister said the Government had boosted funding for our national parks and reserves by $33.6 million.
"I am also particularly pleased that through this year's Budget we have ensured that Australia maintains a strong presence in Antarctica, with an additional $36.9 million committed over the next two years, helping to further cement our leadership in Antarctic science and research in this incredible part of the world.
"The role the Bureau of Meteorology plays in forecasting and analysing our weather and climate has never been more important, which is why the budget provides another $94.7 million over seven years," Mr Garrett said.
Mr Garrett said to help close the gap for Indigenous Australians and protect their place at the centre of environmental management the Australian Government has committed over $69 million over 5 years to create 210 new environmental jobs for Indigenous rangers in remote and regional Australia.
These are just some of the investments the Australian Government is making in a new, sustainable economy built on wise environmental stewardship and respect for our rich and diverse natural heritage.