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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

Natural Heritage Trust - A New Era Begins


22 May 1997

The largest environmental repair and management program in Australian history is up and running with the launch of the Howard Government's $1.25 billion Natural Heritage Trust.

The Trust will deliver a better environment for all Australians cleaner beaches, less air pollution, healthier rivers and waterways, more productive land, and increased protection for our unique wildlife.

Environment Minister Robert Hill and Primary Industries and Energy Minister John Anderson said the Trust had been kick-started by the 1997-98 Budget with $290 million allocated for Trust related programs for biodiversity and sustainable agriculture.

Senator Hill says the launch of the Trust delivers on a key Coalition election commitment.

"The community is already strongly involved and committed to protection of their local environment through programs such as Coastcare, Landcare and Waterwatch.

"We made the commitment that we would support and build on those efforts by establishing a capital funding base through the Natural Heritage Trust.

"We have already received thousands of applications for funding assistance. Today's launch means we are now in a position to start delivering financial and practical assistance to on-ground community environmental activities.

"We heard the community's call for government support of environmental rescue efforts, we made the promise to back those efforts, and we are now delivering in full on that promise."

Mr Anderson says the Landcare movement has clearly demonstrated the enormous commitment and enthusiasm of landholders toward sustainable natural resource management.

"Landcare has been an outstanding success story in promoting sustainable land use. It really is the largest community-driven environment organisation in Australia.

"The Natural Heritage Trust will provide a huge financial boost to the Landcare effort with additional resources for practical on-ground projects.

"Through the Trust, Landcare will deliver an improved environmental outcome while supporting our rural communities' efforts to increase agricultural production. This is vital to our goal of promoting Australia as a clean, green exporter of agricultural products.

"The Natural Heritage Trust will also be a significant boost to rural and regional Australia with a large number of jobs to be created by Trust expenditure.

"Many of the projects under the Trust will be labour intensive, providing an environmental benefit along with the economic benefits to rural and regional communities of increased employment."

Senator Hill and Mr Anderson will jointly administer the Natural Heritage Trust in a partnership which will promote the complementary goals of environmental repair and sustainable land resource use.

Media contacts: Matt Brown (Senator Hill) 06 277 7640 or 0419 693 515
Robert Haynes (Mr Anderson) 06 277 7520 or 0419 493 511
May 22, 1997 (43/97)


Attachment - Approved Projects

Commonwealth of Australia