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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 WA'S ENVIRONMENT
OVER 300 NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST PROJECTS ANNOUNCED


28 September 1998

The Federal Government today announced Western Australia has been allocated 334 projects worth $27 million as part of the first round of Natural Heritage Trust grants for 1998/9.

Senator Hill said that "130projects worth over $5 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 130 Bushcare projects in Western Australia will establish more than 5,000,000 trees, protect over 10,000 hectares of remnant bushland.

"They will also result in 4,000 kilometres of new fencing.

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

John Anderson said that "147 Landcare projects will receive $15 million to help protect Western 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 48 Rivercare projects worth $4 million to help protect and restore rivers through the development and implementation of local Rivercare plans and rehabilitation activities."

Senator Hill said that "over $1 million will be provided under the National Reserve System program to help expand areas of high conservation protected in national parks, nature reserves and private sanctuaries.

"Five threatened ecological communities on the Swan Coastal Plain will be protected by purchase of land to establish new nature reserves, and over 165,000 hectares of land in the Pilbara will be purchased and added to the reserve system.

"Two exciting private conservation projects are also to be funded in WA:

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 Western Australia.

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

Commonwealth of Australia