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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 SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S ENVIRONMENT
392 NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST PROJECTS ANNOUNCED


21 September 1998

The Federal Government today announced South Australia will receive funding for 392 projects worth $24 million as part of the first round of Natural Heritage Trust grants for 1998/9.

Federal Environment Minister and South Australian Senator, Robert Hill, said that "136 projects worth over $4 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 136 Bushcare projects in South Australia will protect over 200,000 hectares of native bushland.

"They will also result in 1,700 kilometres of new fencing.

"This year, Bushcare projects in South Australia will target three main issues:

Federal Primary Industries Minister John Anderson said that "141 Landcare projects will receive over $13 million to help protect South Australia'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 93 Murray Darling 2001 projects worth $4 million to help protect and restore catchments within the South Australian portion of the Murray Darling Basin.

"We are also supporting 15 Rivercare projects worth over $1 million to help protect other rivers in South Australia through the development and implementation of local Rivercare plans and rehabilitation activities."

Senator Hill said that "nearly half a million dollars will be provided 1998/99 to support projects by community based organisations in South Australia to purchase over 100,000 hectares of threatened species habitat and old growth mallee for addition to the South Australian reserve system."

The community group, Birds Australia will receive $20,000 to develop a management plan for the internationally significant Gluepot Reserve in the Riverland which their members purchased last year to help save one of Australia's rarest birds.

Senator Hill also said that "13 projects worth over half a million dollars will go to groups such as the Nature Conservation Society, Wetlands and Wildlife Trust, Wetlands Care Australia, and the Crystal Brook Primary School to restore and monitor South Australia's wetlands."

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

For further information:
Peter Cosier 08 8237 7920, 0419 693 811
Rob Haynes 026 277 7520

Commonwealth of Australia