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

11 February 1999

COUNCILS URGED TO APPLY FOR ENVIRONMENT FUNDING


Local councils around Australia are invited to apply for funding for the 1999-2000 round of Natural Heritage Trust grants, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment, Sharman Stone MP, said today.

The closing date for 'one-stop-shop' Trust applications is Friday, 26 February 1999.

The $1.25 billion Natural Heritage Trust, a Howard Government initiative, is the largest environmental rescue package ever undertaken by an Australian Government.

"The Trust is a working partnership between the community and government that is dedicated to improving the way we manage our fragile natural resources. The day-to-day contact local councils have with the community is a vital part of that partnership," Sharman Stone said.

To assist in the application process the Government has employed a dedicated officer to help local councils to develop projects and apply for NHT funding. As well the Federal Government funds environmental resource officers based in municipal association offices in each state.

"The National Local Government Bushcare Facilitator is our expert on local councils and the Natural Heritage Trust. He can help tailor an application to meet the specific needs of a local council, the community and the environment," Sharman Stone said.

As part of the Natural Heritage Trust 'one-stop-shop', funds are available for Bushcare, Landcare, Murray-Darling 2001, Rivercare, Waterwatch, Farm Forestry, Endangered Species, National Wetlands, National Reserve and Fisheries Action Programs.

11% of Bushcare funds alone were distributed to local councils in 1998-1999.

"Local councils around Australia are already engaged in a range of important conservation and restoration activities. Further funding is now available to build on those efforts and to look ahead to new areas in need of preservation or repair," Sharman Stone said.

The current National Local Government Bushcare Facilitator, Rob Thorman, can be contacted on telephone (02) 6257 3379 or via email at rob.thorman@lwrrdc.gov.au.

Applications are available from the National Heritage Trust website at www.nht.gov.au or by calling the freecall hotline on 1800 065 823.

Members of the public, community groups, indigenous organisations, schools, the private sector and environmental organisations are also welcome to apply.

For further information please contact:
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser, (02) 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415

Commonwealth of Australia