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Natural Heritage Trust

Media Release
Joint Statement by Minister for the Environment, Robert Hill, and
Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, John Anderson

$15.7 MILLION FOR STH AUST AS COMMUNITY SWINGS BEHIND NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST


10 October 1997

More than $15.7 million for 309 projects has been announced for South Australia in the first major round of Natural Heritage Trust funding.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill and Primary Industries and Energy Minister John Anderson have approved the projects as the first instalment of an estimated $24 million in Trust funding for SA this financial year.

Senator Hill has praised the response from South Australian community groups to the call for environmental action plans.

"I would like to think that South Australia has set the standard for other States in relation to the level of involvement of community groups and the quality of projects they have put forward.

"Community groups have put forward 239 successful projects, more than 75% of the total projects approved. They will receive more than $7.5 million in funding from the Trust.

"This is a massive endorsement of the Natural Heritage Trust and its aim to build on the enthusiasm and commitment of the community to work for a better environment.

"The list of projects put forward is a tribute to that community spirit - from a $4,100 bush food trail project put forward by the Kilkenny Primary School to the $104,000 provided to the Anangu Pitjanjatjara to restore native vegetation in their homelands.

"Practical action such as increasing populations of the Pink Spider Orchid across the State, restoring native vegetation throughout central Yorke Peninsula and trialing a salt-tolerant River Red Gum in an area of the Murray Darling Basin can now begin.

"We also expect the community to play an important role in delivering some of the projects put forward by the South Australian Government. The excellent work done by the South Australian Government in preparing for the Trust has been a key factor in securing for the State the first major outlay of Trust funds."

Mr Anderson says the successful projects have a strong focus on rural and regional South Australia where on-the-ground action is most needed.

"The projects cover the length and breadth of the State and address environmental repair, sustainable agriculture and natural resource management problems, including salinity and weed infestations.

"The State Dryland Salinity Committee receives $72 900 to implement its 'Catchments Back in Balance' program, Primary Industries South Australia will conduct a range of farm forestry projects with a $254 000 grant and the Appila Agriculture Bureau will use $13 700 to develop a pasture monitoring system.

"Among the jobs supported, Eastern Eyre Peninsula Community Groups will employ a Landcare officer, the SA Threatened Species Network will employ a project officer and a network officer will work for the River Murray Urban Water Users Committee.

"The projects will provide a boost for South Australia's image as a clean and green producer and exporter of agricultural products and ensure the sustainability of our agricultural industries.

"They will also be making a major contribution to our efforts to protect and restore our environment for the benefit of future generations."

Trust programs such as Landcare, the Endangered Species Program, Bushcare and Rivercare are included in today's announcement. Projects for the Trust's Coasts and Clean Seas program will be announced early next year.

10 October 1997

Contact: Matt Brown (Senator Hill) 0419 693 515 or 02 6277 7640
Rob Haynes (Mr Anderson) 02 6277 7520 or 0419 493 511
119/97

Commonwealth of Australia