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JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage
Dr Sharman Stone MP
Victorian Minister for Environment and Conservation Sherryl Garbutt
EMBARGOED UNTIL 0001, 14 MAY 2000
14 May 2000
Community groups across Victoria will receive $563,279 in Coast Action/Coastcare grants to help them in their vital work protecting the state's magnificent coastal and marine environment.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage Sharman Stone and Victorian Minister for the Environment and Conservation Sherryl Garbutt today announced the grants for 1999-2000.
The 69 projects funded are outstanding examples of direct community involvement in practical actions and on-ground works to address environmental degradation in coastal and marine areas.
Projects to be funded include enhancing coastal wildlife habitat, regenerating native plant species on coastal dunes, and developing an interpretive trail to raise community awareness about coastal biodiversity.
Dr Stone said many new groups applied for funding under Coast Action/Coastcare in Victoria this year.
"It is great to see new groups joining the thousands of Victorians who have taken up the challenge of caring for Victoria's most precious assets - our magnificent coastline and foreshores, waterways and marine wildlife," Sharman Stone said.
"These grants will help restore and protect our coasts, which are under increasing pressure from urban and industrial development, tourism and recreation."
Ms Garbutt said the coastal and marine environment was important to the health of Victoria's ecosystems as well as its economy.
"Our community recognises this and is taking the initiative, together with local, State and Commonwealth governments, to ensure that our coastal environment is protected and enhanced for future generations," Ms Garbutt said.
Coastcare is part of the Natural Heritage Trust's $141 million Coasts and Clean Seas initiative which is delivered as a partnership between the Commonwealth, Victorian and local governments.
The Victorian State government funds projects, through the Coast Action program, on a matching basis with Commonwealth funding from the $1.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust.
Applications for the 2000-2001 Coastcare round are now open. Call the Natural Heritage Trust hotline, freecall 1800 803 772, for an application guide. Applications close on 16 June 2000.
The list of Victorian Coastcare grants for 1999-2000 is attached.
Nicole Johnston (Sharman Stone's Office) 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415
Sally Gibson (Minister Garbutt's office) 03 9651 1128 or 0407 530 473
Robyn Bromley (Environment Australia) 02 6274 1906 or 0419 273 978
Michelle Lauder (Victorian Coastcare Coordinator) 03 9412 4823 or 0411 258 318