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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

HUGE COMMUNITY RESPONSE IN NSW TO NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST


31 October 1997

The people of New South Wales have swung behind the $1.25 Billion Natural Heritage Trust with community-based projects dominating the first round of funding.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill and Primary Industries and Energy Minister John Anderson have approved $37.29 million for 642 projects in the first major funding round for NSW from the Trust.

Senator Hill says the community response to the call for environmental action plans has been overwhelming.

"Community groups have put forward more than 75 per cent of the successful projects in round one. We have allocated $19.3 million to 499 community-based projects.

"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 State's three pilot regions, in the Hawkesbury-Nepean, North Coast and Murrumbidgee catchment areas, have secured 215 projects totalling $10.3 million.

"All levels of government, landholders and the community have been working in these three areas since early this year on cooperative regional proposals and their excellent work has been a key factor in securing this funding.

"Projects across the State include a $4 080 experimental urban revegetation project by the Friends of Kelly's Bush in Woolwich, north of Sydney, and a $15 000 grant to the Friends of the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden to help identify and describe local plant species."

Mr Anderson says there's even more to come with this being only the first instalment of an estimated $43 million in Trust funding for NSW this financial year.

"The successful projects range across the entire State with major benefits for rural and regional NSW.

"The Trust funding will empower people in NSW to address pressing environmental, resource management and sustainable agriculture concerns.

"Among the raft of projects, Greening Australia NSW receives $92 600 to identify potential rural industries based on native species, while the Upper Wybong Catchment Landcare Group will use a $12 000 grant to restore the Upper Wybong Creek in the Hunter Valley.

"The Numeralla Community Landcare Group will use a $47 000 grant through the Trust's Rivercare initiative to improve the ecological health of the Numeralla River Catchment, and a
$152 800 grant from the National Landcare Program will assist the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Trust to conduct a major riverbank repair program.

"The projects will lead to more bushland, greater protection for wildlife, lower saline water tables, and action to halt erosion and soil quality decline."

Trust programs such as Landcare, Murray-Darling 2001, the Endangered Species Program and Bushcare are included in today's announcement. Projects for the Trust's Coasts and Clean Seas program will be announced early next year.

31 October 1997

Contact: Matt Brown (Senator Hill) 0419 693 515 or 02 6277 7640
Rob Haynes (Mr Anderson) 0419 493 511 or 02 6277 7520
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Commonwealth of Australia