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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

The Hon Tony Burke MP
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Overwhelming demand for Caring for our Country funding

Joint media release
20 April 2009

The Rudd Government has received an overwhelming response from environmental, farming, Landcare, indigenous and community groups under the latest Caring for our Country funding round.

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts Peter Garrett and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said more than 1,300 applications had been received for 2009-10 under the inaugural Business Plan.

Around $450 million is available to be committed in 2009-10 to support projects which help to ensure the environment is better protected and more resilient in a changing climate. This will include two, three and four-year projects.

However, applications received are worth a total of more than $3.4 billion, including one project which would require the entire year’s funding.

Applications will be assessed by a range of panels including community members and scientific experts.

Mr Garrett said the response showed the commitment of local groups to achieving key national environmental targets in six national priority areas under Caring for our Country.

The Business Plan sets out a range of targets, including protecting important wetlands and improving soil condition on farming land.

"These targets are ambitious but achievable and I welcome the on-going support of environmental and farming groups," Mr Garrett said.

"All applications will be assessed carefully, although this will be a very difficult task given the incredible volume of requests."

Mr Burke urged groups to continue their invaluable work, including farmers working in partnership with Landcare groups and other local networks.

"The Government absolutely recognises the fantastic work by farmers and Landcare groups in managing weeds, erosion, water quality and biodiversity," Mr Burke said.

"We will continue working hard to ensure we get the best possible outcome for the environment under Caring for our Country, which is more transparent and accountable."

Funding announcements are expected by in the next couple of months. For more information visit www.nrm.gov.au 

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