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Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders

30 June 2005

Victoria's community groups funded to help save water


Mr Greg Hunt, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, today announced that grants of up to $50,000 were now available to schools, service clubs, community organisations and local government across Victoria as part of $48 million in the first round of the federal Government's Community Water Grants programme.

"This funding aims to encourage the community to play a significant role in protecting water quality and the nation's dwindling water supplies," Mr Hunt said.

"The Grants will help communities address water issues in their local area including water saving and recycling initiatives. It will encourage better water use and improvements in water health through practical on-the-ground projects such as the stream restoration."

Mr Hunt made the announcement on behalf of the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell and the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald. The announcement was made at Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne, one of the sites that received funding under a demonstration round of the Community Water Grants.

"The Abbotsford Convent Foundation will harness more than two million litres of water a year by installing tanks so that rainwater from the Convent roof can be used on the heritage listed Contemplative Gardens which surround the building," Mr Hunt said.

"Imagine the savings that could be made across the state if the owners of other large buildings with surrounding grounds made similar efforts.

"Community groups are custodians of large areas of Australia and significant water users in their own right. I'm sure they have many simple but smart water saving ideas, and I encourage them to act now to save our precious water resources."

The government has committed $200 million over five years through the Community Water Grants programme part of the $2 billion Australian Government Water Fund announced in 2004. Grants of up to $50,000 will be provided for projects that demonstrate direct water savings, efficiency and/or benefits to surface or groundwater health, and can demonstrate a clear public benefit.

Application forms and guidelines are available from www.communitywatergrants.gov.au or by calling 1800 780 730. Applications close on October 4, 2005.

Media enquiries:
Fiona Murphy (Mr Hunt's office) 0423 577 045

Commonwealth of Australia