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


24 September 1998

The Federal Government today announced Queensland will receive funding for over 400 projects worth $32 million as part of the first round of Natural Heritage Trust grants for 1998/9.

Federal Environment Minister Senator Robert Hill said that "96 projects worth over $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 Bushcare projects in Queensland will protect over half a million hectares of native bushland and plant over 700,000 trees and shrubs.

Federal Primary Industries Minister John Anderson said that "193 Landcare projects will receive over $13 million to help protect Queensland'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 36 Murray Darling 2001 projects worth over $3 million to help protect and restore catchments within the Queensland portion of the Murray Darling Basin.

"We are also supporting 50 Rivercare projects worth over $3 million to help protect other rivers in Queensland through the development and implementation of local Rivercare plans and rehabilitation activities."

Senator Hill said that "nearly $4 million dollars will be provided in 1998/99 to help purchase new national parks, nature reserves and private sanctuaries. Land is to be purchased to add rare and endangered vegetation communities to the Queensland nature reserve system."

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

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

Commonwealth of Australia