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20 May 2000
Cassowary, Dugong, Eastern Bristlebird and Mallee Fowl populations, some of Australia's most unique and endangered native species, are one step closer to recovery thanks to a multi-million funding boost from the Federal Government.
Dr Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, today announced that $7.9 million in funding from the Natural Heritage Trust would be injected into conservation activities in Australia's World Heritage areas.
"The top environmental priorities at all state managed national parks around Australia have been funded through this year's Natural Heritage Trust grants," Sharman Stone said.
"In consultation with local community advisory groups, the funding is being ploughed into improving visitor facilities, protecting our unique native species, rehabilitating degraded areas and increasing community participation in management activities."
The Commonwealth provides funding of more than $50 million each year for the management of Australia's World Heritage Properties, including funding sourced from the Natural Heritage Trust.
Australia has 13 sites included on the World Heritage List for their outstanding natural and cultural values, more World Heritage properties than any other nation in the world.
"The Commonwealth is committed to properly resourcing and supporting these magnificent Australian icons," Sharman Stone said.
"Ensuring the long-term health of Australia's World Heritage sites is protected and that our magnificent biodiversity continues to thrive, is part of our commitment to future generations."
"As well, it offers an environmentally friendly experience to the many hundreds of thousands of local and international visitors who come to see our rainforests, deserts, islands and remote wilderness each year."
Dr Stone said that engaging the community in conservation and management activities in World Heritage Properties was a key focus of the Federal Government funding this year.
"In the Queensland Wet Tropics, the Federal Government is providing $58,000 for the Wet Tropics Good Neighbours Program which is helping the local community to live with and protect Cassowaries."
"To date more than 3,000 landholders living adjacent to the World Heritage area are involved in designing traffic controls, pet management projects, establishing Cassowary food corridors, constructing fencing to avoid roadkill and DNA trials." 2/...
"Increasing Indigenous participation in World Heritage management has also been boosted this year with a total $334,500 to support Aboriginal cultural and advisory activities at Riversleigh (Qld) and at Willandra Lakes (Murray Darling Basin)," Sharman Stone said.
Over the past 4 years more than $61 million in funding has been provided to the states for more than 300 projects.
Commonwealth managed World Heritage sites such as Kakadu, Uluru-Kata Tjuta and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park are funded through separate annual allocations.
The full project list is of Natural Heritage Trust grants for 1999-2000 is attached.
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415
20 May 2000