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Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald
Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister for the Environment


5 November 1997

The Federal Government today unveiled an ambitious Natural Heritage Trust project that will develop guidelines for the ecologically sustainable expansion of sugar cane production areas.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Senator Ian Macdonald, today announced that Federal Government funding will generate over $150,000 for the crucial environmental project.

"This project, with a total project cost of $155,323, will provide essential strategic direction for the development of industry guidelines for new cane production areas through local Cane Production Boards.

"This will enable a coordinated focus to be taken in the protection of priority biodiversity issues and ensure that future cane expansion is in an ecologically sustainable fashion.

"It's immensely satisfying for this region to be participating in what is the greatest environmental action plan undertaken in Australia's history.

"The Coalition has listened to community groups who requested that the Government spend more money on practical, on ground projects at the local level.

"It will also complement the good work the Canegrowers Organisation has done to enhance environmental sustainability in cane growing.

"This approach provides a unique focus and maximises the benefit from efforts to protect and enhance our environment, and also maintain a viable agricultural sector.

"The Commonwealth Government will provide $46,000 with $109,323 being contributed by the Queensland Department of Environment".

Senator Macdonald says in addition to this project 373 other Natural Heritage Trust projects worth more than $22.6 million will commence right across the state.

"This all out 'environmental assault' was made possible by the sale of one third of Telstra, and is part of the $1.25 billion the Howard Government committed to the environment through the Natural Heritage Trust.

"The partnerships generated by the Natural Heritage Trust between everyone in our community, from Government to individuals, we enable us to protect our environment and provide a better tomorrow for future generations".

Wednesday, 5 November, 1997

For More Information Call Brad Robinson on (077) 713066 or 0418673600.

Commonwealth of Australia