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

2 October 2001


Federal Member for Murray and Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage Sharman Stone today announced almost $9 million of funding from the Commonwealth Government's Natural Heritage Trust to implement the Goulburn Broken Regional Catchment Strategy.

Sharman Stone also announced an additional $1.16 million of funding for 11 environmental projects awarded to groups across Murray from Shepparton to Kerang.

Sharman Stone said that after the current Natural Heritage Trust round of funding, the electorate of Murray has received $47 million in Federal Government assistance.

"Murray has received more money than any other electorate in Australia and today's announcement demonstrates that the Federal Government recognises the great work being done in our region".

"This funding will help support community groups and our local councils participating in on-ground environmental action to protect and conserve remnant vegetation and native fauna and destroy weeds and other invasive species," Sharman Stone said.

"Goulburn Broken Regional Catchment Strategy is a high priority because it is focused on natural resource management issues and problems across our region".

"Funding for this project is not so much about single-focused programs", Sharman Stone said.

"As one of the largest 'devolved' grant project ever awarded, the project includes measurable outcomes - the whole community will be able to get a grasp of just, how well we are progressing at restoring the health of our local land and waterways".

"Priorities include waterway health and revegetation for 3000 km of streams, maintaining and enhancing native vegetation, reducing the salt leaving the Goulburn Broken and increasing the surface drained area of the Shepparton Irrigation Area."

"80 per cent of funding for the Goulburn Broken strategy will go to priority locations, while the remaining 20 per cent would go to other important on-ground activities with extensive community involvement".

Other Trust-funded projects in the region include the Tragowel Plains Land and Water Management Plan to manage the salinity of land and water resources in the Tragowel Plains area, and protecting and enhancing vegetation along the Campaspe River downstream of Barnadown.

"Today's announcement reflects the diversity of our region - we are funding projects in irrigation areas, like the Shepparton Irrigation Region Farm Forestry Project and projects tackling dryland salinity on the Tragowel Plains near Kerang", Sharman Stone said.

"We are also supporting our environmental volunteers by providing education and training programs to help with cessation planning, budgeting and communications between Landcare groups in the Gannawarra and Loddon Shires".

"This funding will ensure that the work of all our local Landcare groups and the professional approach of Goulburn Murray Water and the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority continue to help make a valuable contribution to sustainable agriculture and conserving Murray's unique biological diversity," Sharman Stone said.

"While the money is important, the strength of community involvement is critical in identifying local environmental and natural resource management problems, developing local solutions and getting the job done".

"All these projects will build on the achievements of the past four years in bringing together community groups and all levels of government to tackle environment problems at their source.

* Details of all projects funded in Murray are attached

Media contact:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468
October 2nd 2001



Organisation Greening Australia Victoria Inc
Project ID 25263 State ID 200399D C'wealth Funding $11,000
Program Bushcare Other Funding $27,000
Contact Name David Millsom Total Funding $38,000
Phone 03 5455 7458
Under the project, 1000 hectares of native Saltbush species will be reinstated in the lower flood plain of the Loddon, Avoca and Avon-Richardson catchments in north central Victoria. Native Saltbush was the major vegetation type over much of the northern plains and southern Riverina, now being affected by rising saline watertables. Reinstating native Saltbush on damaged land is a new concept for Victoria, though now gaining support in the Riverina of NSW. Extensive Saltbush areas would replace degraded annual weeds and denuded land and would contribute to improving habit values, reducing groundwater recharge for salinity control and improving sustainable productivity, with no fertiliser or chemical requirements.

Organisation North Central Catchment Management Authority
Project ID 31044 State ID 201121D C'wealth Funding $82,700
Program Bushcare Other Funding $142,900
Contact Name Greg Peters Total Funding $225,600
Phone 03-5448 7124
From Barnadown to Echuca, the lower Campaspe River meanders 110km northwards to the Murray River across open farmland. Large, hollow-bearing River Red Gums, which were once home to a range of riparian dependent species, including the threatened Squirrel Glider, shade the steep, sparsely vegetated banks, grazed regularly by stock. The project intends to control stock access by fencing out 20km of the existing riparian vegetation and encourage pulse grazing to ensure the recruitment of hollow - bearing trees. Planting of tubestock species, direct seeding and associated weed control will assist the natural regeneration of understorey species and enhance the habitat value of the riparian zone.

Organisation Shepparton Irrigation Region Farm Forestry Network Inc.
Project ID 25324 State ID 200461 C'wealth Funding $68,600
Program Farm Forestry Program Other Funding $108,500
Contact Name Rhodey Bowman Total Funding $177,100
Phone 03-5833 5957
The DPIE funded and recently completed 'Shepparton Irrigation Region Farm Forestry Project', identified a lack of farm forestry awareness, landholder skills and knowledge, and commercial investment as barriers to the uptake of Farm Forestry in the Shepparton Irrigation Region. This project aims to overcome these barriers by developing best-practice farm forest establishment and management approaches, and through their adoption, foster a self reliant and commercial perspective within the farm forest industry. Over two years the project will lead to the establishment of 100 hectares of farm forestry, adoption of best-practice management across 200 hectares, and creation of 10 local farm forest-based businesses.

Organisation Goulburn Murray Water Authority
Project ID 25253 State ID 200388 C'wealth Funding $43,015
Program Murray-Darling 2001 Other Funding $56,300
Contact Name Wes Douglass Total Funding $99,315
Phone 03-5833 5608
The project addresses high water use on light soil types. By working with small groups of farmers, adoption of improved irrigation practices, to meet a benchmark water use limit of 10 ML/hectare, will be achieved. A Participation Action Management methodology will be used to continually improve irrigation efficiency within each group. Techniques to improve water use efficiency include irrigation scheduling, reducing/re-using run-off and improvements to farm design and management to reduce accessions to groundwater. The project, in the first year, will focus on a pilot group in the Campaspe Irrigation District, then in the second year extend to groups in other areas.

Organisation Campaspe West Implementation Group
Project ID 31006 State ID 201144 C'wealth Funding $44,000
Program Murray-Darling 2001 Other Funding $558,300
Contact Name Brian Holmes Total Funding $602,300
Phone 03-5482 0429
The main aim of the project is to provide long-term salinity control in the western part of the CID which is most at risk. Salinity control is to be achieved through a combination of improved on farm irrigation efficiency and the provision of sub-surface drainage with disposal of groundwater. Disposal is carefully managed and monitored to ensure that downstream impacts are negligible. Dilution flows into drains and the Campaspe River ensure that River habitat is enhanced and downstream water users are protected. If these works are not undertaken the natural resource base of one of the most productive agricultural areas in Victoria will be eroded and the down-basin consequences will be negative.

Organisation Tragowel Plains Land & Water Man Plan Community Imp Grp/Loddon Imp Committee
Project ID 31009 State ID 201147 C'wealth Funding $231,650
Program Murray-Darling 2001 Other Funding $5,520,050
Contact Name Deidre Stevens Total Funding $5,751,700
Phone 03-5455 7094
The project will implement the Tragowel Plains Land and Water Management Plan to manage the salinity of the land and water resources in the Tragowel Plains area to provide for a long-term, self-supporting community based on agriculture.

Organisation Loddon Imp Comm - Boort West of Loddon Land and Water Management Plan Imp Group
Project ID 31056 State ID 201134 C'wealth Funding $209,500
Program Murray-Darling 2001 Other Funding $2,324,700
Contact Name Damian Jones Total Funding $2,534,200
Phone 03-5452 1266
The objective of this project is to implement, monitor, and refine the Boort West of Loddon Land and Water Management Plan (BWOL). Through a systematic approach, the plan aims to, manage the land and water resources of the 89,000 ha plan area through improved irrigation management, improved infrastructure, and the protection of significant environmental features. This is to be achieved for the benefit of families of the Boort community, environment and the people of Victoria, and provide the least possible effect on downstream communities.

Organisation Shires of Gannawarra and Loddon
Project ID 25257 State ID 200393 C'wealth Funding $54,800
Program National Landcare Program Other Funding $155,000
Contact Name Steve Walsh Total Funding $209,800
Phone 03-5450 9333
This project will provide support, training, educational programs and co-ordination of on-ground works for new and existing groups across the Gannawarra and Loddon Shire areas. The 20 participating groups will benefit from localised assistance and overcome problems associated with poor information flow, lack of direction and isolation. The Landcare Coordinator will provide representation for groups and develop a communications network involving Landcare groups, NCCMA, Loddon Implementation Committee, Local Government, DNRE and Water Authorities. The Co-ordinator will work with groups to develop and implement local action plans designed to achieve positive outcomes in-line with the priorities of the Draft Regional Catchment Strategy and Loddon Whole of Catchment Plan.

Organisation Loddon and Campaspe Implementation Committees of the North Central CMA
Project ID 25269 State ID 200405 C'wealth Funding $192,100
Program National Landcare Program Other Funding $300,570
Contact Name Brian Holmes Total Funding $492,670
Phone 03-5482 0429
Under the project, heavily degraded and salt affected non-irrigated land in the Loddon Murray area will be targeted and enhanced as an integral part of productive resource management and protection. Existing Whole Farm Plans have focused on the resource protection and development of irrigated parts of farms. This innovative project will deliver a systematic approach to the management of entire properties as a holistic and integrated biological system through a mix of works and services, which will protect and enhance natural resources in non-irrigated areas. It will link with best management practices, identified in the Regions Key Strategies including Land and Water Management Plans, Soil Health, Vegetation Plan, and Regional Development.

Organisation Loddon Implementation Committee - North Central Catchment Management Authority
Project ID 31053 State ID 201131 C'wealth Funding $73,300
Program National Landcare Program Other Funding $121,045
Contact Name Rob Fisher Total Funding $194,345
Phone 03 5450 9558
The project will re-introduce minimum till farming systems in a high-priority focal area to demonstrate current technology and best management practices on three soil types characteristic of cropping areas in the lower north central catchment. It involves practical comparison of conventional cultivation with minimum tillage on each soil type; crop establishment and monitoring by farmers with technical support; agronomic appraisal; monitoring and evaluation to track, demonstrate and report on progress; project update days and farmer focus group discussions including soil pit examinations at key stages of crop growth. The project will produce a package of case histories using digital cameras, interview material and laboratory data to present the results in a format that is appropriate for stimulating widespread adoption of minimum tillage in the lower north central catchment.

Organisation Loddon Implementation Committee, on behalf of; Loddon Land & Water Mgt Group
Project ID 31055 State ID 201133D C'wealth Funding $153,100
Program Bushcare Other Funding $174,100
Contact Name Greg Turner Total Funding $327,200
Phone 03-5452 1266
The aim is to restore 40 km of riparian values along Taylors and Pyramid creeks and associated waterways between Torrumbarry Weir (Kow Swamp) and Hird Swamp - Patho West to Cohuna (these are break out streams parallel to the Murray River north east of Echuca). Sections of these streams have been channelised in the past as part of water management programs in this irrigation area. The main works will be fencing out the water and restoring flora values either by natural regeneration, mechanical disturbance, or replanting.

Total Natural Heritage Trust funding for Murray: $1,163,765


Implementing the Goulburn Broken Regional Catchment Strategy

Organisation Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority
Project ID 35121 State ID 201442F C'wealth Funding $8,955,540
Program Bushcare/Murray Darling 2001/Landcare Other Funding $42,845,210
  Total Funding $51,800,750
This is a high priority pioneer one-regional natural resource management project focused on Bushcare in the Goulburn Broken Catchment. The Region directs 80 per cent of works funding in its devolved grants to priority locations identified in its plans and strategies. The remaining 20 per cent goes to other important on-ground activities. All activities will be carried out to optimise benefits with limited resources. There has been the highest level of community direction in the development of the project.
Commonwealth of Australia