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Media Release
Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage

4th January 2001

Call for applications for new environmental projects in Murray

The Federal Member for Murray, Sharman Stone has urged the community to make the International Year of the Volunteer the year to help our local environment.

"With funding from the Federal Government's $1.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust over the past four years, more than 300,000 volunteers have been working on nearly 10,000 individual projects throughout Australia to protect and conserve our natural resources", Sharman Stone said.

"Local community groups have an opportunity to receive vital financial support for environmental projects with the release of applications for 2001-02 Natural Heritage Trust funding.

"This round of one-stop-shop funding will be the fifth year the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust has funded community groups for on-ground works."

The $1.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust is the single largest investment by a Federal Government in the environmental future of Australia and has the dual goals of achieving sustainable agriculture and the conservation of Australia's unique biodiversity.

By supporting community efforts on the ground as well as regional and national strategies for better natural resource management, the Trust takes a long term, coordinated approach to tackling the major environmental challenges facing our region.

"By planting more native vegetation we will help stop soil erosion, reduce water degradation and provide habitat for our threatened species".

"Our local Landcare Groups, Water Catchment Authorities, Greencorps teams and others are working hard on projects to help protect our local environment. This year's guide for Trust funding is now shorter and easier to read, which will help community groups to better access funding for our environment and natural resources".

Applications may also be made online at the Natural Heritage Trust website:

"Anyone interested in applying for Natural Heritage Trust funding should contact my office for a copy of the purple book - Guide to New Applicants, on freecall 1800 633 421".

Applications close on 23 February 2001.

MEDIA INQUIRIES: Simon Frost 0419 495 468

Commonwealth of Australia