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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage


11 February 2000

NHT REMINDER: 2 WEEKS TO GO


"Don't miss out " is the message from Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, with just two weeks left to apply for funding from the Federal Government's $1.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust.

Dr Stone said that this year the Federal Government was keen to encourage traditional community based-projects as well as larger-scale regional projects.

"One of the best ways to incorporate local works with regionally significant results is through targeted devolved grants," Sharman Stone said.

"Community volunteers, councils and land carers working on small project sites are linked together under the umbrella of a larger project that targets a particular region's environmental priorities."

"Because of their expertise and resources, local governments and other regional organisations are often well-placed to nominate and support a devolved grants project," Sharman Stone said.

A leading example of a devolved grant scheme in action is Greening Australia's Integrated Urban Bushcare Project. The Federal Government has chipped in $346,000 for 50 community groups who aim to plant 200,000 trees, weed and fence a 250 hectare area of parkland and creek banks in and around Melbourne.

Dr Stone said community groups, Landcare groups, schools, universities, local governments, NGO's, indigenous groups and some individuals were eligible to apply for Trust funding.

"If you've got a significant patch of land or water or native wildlife in your local area we want to hear from you," Sharman Stone said.

Approximately $300 million in funding will be available from the Trust in 2000-2001.

More than 3,500 groups around Australia have received funding to date, from as little as a few hundred dollars for dust suppression to several million dollars for drainage and dry-land salinity control works.

Applications for One-Stop Shop funding - including Bushcare, Landcare, MD2001, waterwatch, Wetlands, Rivercare, Fisheries Action, Farm Forestry, Endangered Species and the National Reserve System programs - close on 25 February.

For further information telephone freecall 1800 065 823 or visit the online site at www.nht.gov.au.

Media Inquiries:
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415

Commonwealth of Australia