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Natural Heritage Trust

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


9 September 1997

An historic agreement confirming the joint commitment of the ACT and Commonwealth governments to the Natural Heritage Trust has been signed at Parliament House.

The signing of a partnership agreement is the green light for funding to flow to the ACT from the Howard Government's $1.25 billion Natural Heritage Trust.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill, Primary Industries and Energy Minister John Anderson and ACT Environment Minister Gary Humphries have signed the Commonwealth-State agreement.

Senator Hill says the agreement provides for the Howard Government to support increased on-ground action to protect and restore the ACT's natural environment.

"Through the Trust, conservation efforts in the territory will be stepped up over the next four years and provide a solid foundation for on-ground activities in future years.

"The partnership agreement reinforces the Natural Heritage Trust message that environmental repair must be a partnership between the community and all levels of government."

Mr Anderson said the partnership between the Commonwealth and the Territory will ensure a balance is achieved between biodiversity conservation and natural resource management.

"The projects put forward by the ACT Government have a strong focus on issues such as native vegetation management, community education and water quality monitoring," Mr Anderson said.

"These are all important elements of conservation through good environmental management practices.

"Funding from the Trust will support a range of significant biodiversity conservation and natural resources management initiatives to be conducted by schools, community groups and catchment management groups in the ACT and surrounding region."

The recommendations for projects to be funded will be submitted to Trust Ministers within the next few weeks and follows a comprehensive community-based assessment process.

The partnership agreement is the third to be signed under the Natural Heritage Trust, following agreements with Western Australia and South Australia. Partnership agreements for the other States and Territories are expected to be finalised in the near future.

9 September 1997 (104/97)

Contact: Matt Brown (Senator Hill) 0419 693 515 or 02 6277 7640
Darryl Hockey (Mr Anderson) 0419 244 521
Gerard Early (Environment Australia) 02 6250 0222
Tony Byrne (DPIE) 02 6272 4624

Commonwealth of Australia