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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

MASSIVE BOOST FOR TASMANIA'S ENVIRONMENT
185 NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST PROJECTS ANNOUNCED


16 September 1998

The Federal Government today announced Tasmania has been allocated 185 projects worth $10 million as part of the first round of Natural Heritage Trust grants for 1998/9.

Senator Hill said that "51 projects worth $2.6 million will be funded by the new Bushcare program to protect and restore native vegetation.

"Bushcare is the largest investment in native vegetation conservation in Australia's history.

"The 51 Bushcare projects in Tasmania will establish more than 36,000 trees, revegetate over 580 hectares of degraded land and protect 1500 hectares of remnant bushland.

"They will also result in 940 kilometres of new fencing.

"Tasmania Bushcare projects will target three main issues:

John Anderson said that "69 Landcare projects will receive $3.6 million to help protect Tasmania's land, rivers and wildlife habitat in 1998/9, through integrated catchment planning, promotion of sustainable agricultural techniques and Landcare support services.

"We are also supporting 34 Rivercare projects worth $1.6 million to help protect and restore Tasmanian rivers through the development and implementation of local Rivercare plans and rehabilitation activities."

Senator Hill said "Macquarie Island will receive its second instalment of $300,000 to eradicate feral cats as part of an integrated vertebrate pests management program.

"This three year project will contribute significantly towards the conservation of albatrosses and other seabirds on this World Heritage listed island.

"The Natural Heritage Trust will also provide over $450,000 to complement nature conservation initiatives developed through the Regional Forest Agreement process, including the addition of 158 hectares of high priority native grassland and threatened karst ecosystems being added to the Tasmania's nature reserves in central and north western Tasmania".

A range of additional projects under the Farm Forestry, Wetlands and Fisheries Action Programs and Waterwatch make the Natural Heritage Trust grants a fully integrated package to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture in Tasmania.

For further information:
Peter Cosier 0419 693 811
Rob Haynes 026 277 7520

Commonwealth of Australia