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


14 July 2000

Funding boost for Environment and Heritage Organisations


Dr Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage has encouraged voluntary organisations interested in protecting and enhancing their natural environment or cultural heritage to apply for a new Federal Government grant.

"The objective of the Grants to Voluntary Environment and Heritage Organisations program is to help environmental and heritage organisations actively involve their community in the conservation and protection of our natural environment and cultural heritage", Dr Stone said.

"Over $1.65m in grants was distributed last year to 106 natural and cultural heritage organisations across Australia. Groups as diverse as the Wildflower Society of WA, the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria and the Townsville Maritime Historical Society received Federal Government assistance toward their important work".

Dr Stone said that the grants were aimed at encouraging organisations to achieve real on-ground improvements and involve the local community in efforts to protect and enhance their natural environment and cultural heritage.

"Many of these voluntary organisations have the people power to undertake these projects but lack funding to pay for staff and volunteer training or essential office equipment. The purpose of this grants program is to meet shortfalls in these areas".

Funds will be allocated on a competitive basis with consideration being given to the quality of an organisation's proposed activities to improve the environment or cultural heritage over the funding period.

"Voluntary organisations provide a vast range of important services to their local communities. By supporting the work of environment and cultural heritage groups, the Federal Government is recognising their contribution to the life of the nation", Sharman Stone said.

"I would encourage local community groups interested in preserving our cultural heritage or precious environment to get their application together and submit it as soon as possible."

Applications close on August 14 and further details and an application form can be found at www.environment.gov.au/net/gveho.html.

Media Inquiries: Simon Frost 0419 495 468 or (02) 6277 2016
Friday July 14 2000

Commonwealth of Australia