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

8 August 2000

$640,000 for Meander Valley Council to spend on protecting the local environment

Dr Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, will officially launch the Meander Valley Council's Natural Resource Management Strategy this morning at Cheltenham Bush.

"In October 1998 the Meander Valley Council, stimulated by the Natural Heritage Trust, adopted a strategic approach to natural resource management across the region", Sharman Stone said.

"Today's launch is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the local council that has been rewarded with a $640,000 grant from the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust".

These funds will help them implement the strategy that will address a number of local environmental problems in the Meander Valley region including;

"The Meander Valley Council has recognised the significance of the natural assets of the region that contain some of the most highly productive agricultural land anywhere in Australia as well as priority conservation areas".

"It has also taken on the critical role of conservation leadership. The Council has recognised that a catchment approach is the key to sustainable land and water management".

Dr Stone said that the Council's strategy represented a unique partnership between government, industry and community that will lead to real integrated, well planned environmental outcomes across the region.

"Too often Local Governments feel overwhelmed with the work on roads, rubbish and registrations. Meander Valley Council has shown that it also accepts its role as a coordinator and planner for critical natural resource management", Sharman Stone said.

"Launch of the Meander Valley Council's Natural Resource Management Strategy will be complemented by the commencement of the Natural Heritage Trust training initiative pilot in Launceston next week".

"This pilot recognises the importance of the human resource component in rescuing Australia's threatened environments".

"This new program will give Northern Tasmanians access to training and support that recognises the essential work of coordinators, facilitators, volunteers and community leaders as they support others in protecting our natural resources and precious environment".

For further information please contact:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468 or 02 6277 2016
August 8th 2000

Commonwealth of Australia