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Joint Statement by Minister for the Environment, Robert Hill, and
Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, John Anderson
18 February 1997
Australia's largest ever environmental rescue effort has moved a step closer with the call for community groups to seek funding from the Howard Government's Natural Heritage Trust,
The Natural Heritage Trust will provide an additional $1.25 billion for activities which directly benefit the environment and promote the sustainable use of agricultural resources.
Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill and Primary Industries Minister John Anderson have released the guidelines for community groups to apply for grants from the Trust.
Senator Hill and Mr Anderson said the Natural Heritage Trust will build on the commitment of local communities to protecting and restoring their environment.
"Local communities are already out there working to repair the damage done to their environment and ensuring that the use of our natural resources is sustainable.
"The Howard Government can now provide increased financial backing for those efforts through the community grants program of the Natural Heritage Trust.
"The Government is acting now, ahead of the passage of the Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Bill 1996, to give community groups sufficient time to plan and submit their proposals for possible Trust funding in the next financial year," the Ministers said.
"We are also making the process easier for community groups by streamlining the application process. Community groups will be able to submit project proposals in one application which addresses a range of environmental and natural resource issues in an integrated way.
"By making the Natural Heritage Trust 'a one stop shop', community groups will not have to cut through mountains of red tape to obtain the funding they need to get on with the job."
Copies of the Guide to Community Group Applications 1997-98 are available from State and Territory government agencies, and Federal electorate offices. Advertisements will appear in the coming week in national and rural newspapers seeking applications for possible community grants under the Trust.
A toll free number for Natural Heritage Trust enquiries is provided through Countrylink 1800 026 222
Contact: Matt Brown (Senator Hill's office) 06 277 7640 or 0419 693 515
Rob Haynes (Mr Anderson's office) 06 277 7520