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

19 August 1999

$1.5MILLION TO PROTECT SOUTH-EASTERN GRASSLANDS


Private land holders will be encouraged to preserve threatened remnants of endangered native grasslands under a new $1.5 million Natural Heritage Trust initiative.

The funding will help the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) to identify, manage and protect remnant native grasslands with high conservation values through south-eastern Australia.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill announced the funding today at a Bushcare conference in Clare, South Australia.

"The importance of temperate grasslands and grassy woodlands is often forgotten, yet they are two of this country's most threatened ecosystems, with some of the richest concentrations of biodiversity outside rainforests," Senator Hill said.

"Less than one per cent of the original habitat remains in south-eastern Australia.

"This project aims to conserve and enhance native grasslands through the cooperative efforts of the Federal Government, the WWF and local landholders.

"The funding of $500 000 per year over three years is being provided under the Trust's Bushcare program and will be directed towards:

"This project reflects the Government's commitment to preserving Australia's many fragile ecosystems and has received considerable support from State and Territory conservation groups and government agencies," Senator Hill said.

Contacts:
Rod Bruem (Senator Hill) (02) 6277 7640 or 0411 128 582
Andrew Campbell (Environment Australia) (02) 6274 2501 or 0419 208 923

Commonwealth of Australia