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

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

Caring for our Country helps community groups take action

Media release
7 January 2010

Almost 300 community groups across the country will receive Caring for our Country funding of between $5000 and $20,000 to help them take action to protect the Australian landscape.

Minister for the Environment, Peter Garrett, and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Tony Burke, today announced almost $5 million in approved funding for 299 projects under the Caring for our Country Community Action Grants program.

The ministers said it was pleasing to see a strong field of applications from rural, urban and Indigenous community groups across the country, all keen to take part in protecting the environment and adopting sustainable land management at a local level through the Caring for our Country initiative.

Mr Garrett said projects being funded under the Community Action Grants program would help local communities deal with the impacts of climate change and protect and restore habitats for threatened species around the country.

"In Western Australia, the West Midlands Natural Resource Group will receive $13,350 to help a number of volunteer Coastcare groups rehabilitate dunes to combat erosion and raise community awareness of coastal issues at sites in Cervantes, Jurien Bay and Sandy Cape," Mr Garrett said.

"Kuranda Envirocare in Queensland will receive $11,641 to protect threatened species in Far North Queensland, including the Southern Cassowary, Myola Palm and Common Mist Frog, by removing weeds and revegetating this biodiversity hotspot."

Mr Burke said many of the grants will support community Landcare groups across the country, who play a vital role in restoring the Australian landscape.

"More than 100,000 Landcare volunteers in some 4,500 groups across Australia dedicate their time each year carrying out sustainable land management projects, Mr Burke said.

"The Government wants to make sure that smaller, community-based Landcare groups continue to thrive and do their excellent work locally.

"That is why the Rudd Government committed up to $5 million to support smaller groups."

"For example, in Bendigo, Victoria, the Axe Creek Landcare Group will receive $6,790.91 to remove woody weeds and plant new vegetation along the banks of Axe creek, as well as on local hillsides. The project will help to provide habitat for small birds, revegetate cleared grazing land and rehabilitate the creekline."

"In New South Wales, the Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare group will receive $17,026 to hold workshops to help farmers manage soil degradation and to increase the use of sustainable farm and land management practices among landholders and industry groups in the Coffs Coastal region.

"The Penna Landcare Group in Tasmania will receive $18,500 to address issues of sustainable farm management and environmental protection through weed control and land rehabilitation on a number of sites bordering the Pitt Water-Orielton Lagoon," Mr Burke said.

Mr Garrett said he was particularly pleased with the strong level of interest from Indigenous organisations in conserving and protecting the environment through Caring for our Country.

"A total of 29 Indigenous organisations will share in over $500,000 of Community Action Grants funding for a variety of projects in New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory and Victoria," Mr Garrett said.

"This includes the Julalikari Council Aboriginal Corporation in the Northern Territory, who will receive $19,568 to help people in remote communities control Weeds of National Significance including Parkinsonia, Athel Pine and Rubber bush weed around remote headlands in the Barkly region."

The Community Action Grants funding includes:

Applications for the next round of Community Action Grants are expected to open in July next year.

Further information on Caring for our Country and the Community Action Grants program is available at www.nrm.gov.au .

Commonwealth of Australia