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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

14 May 1999


Regional cities are set to share in the Federal Government's $50 million Living Cities Program, announced as part of the 1999 Federal Budget, Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage said today.

Mrs Stone said that the Living Cities Program, would help fund programs designed to improve air and water quality, waste management, chemical collection, urban vegetation and coastal water quality in regional as well as metropolitan cities.

"Urbanisation, population growth and rapidly expanding industrial and agricultural growth have all taken their toll on our fragile natural environment. Many regional cities now face problems relating to air pollution, landfill, chemical disposal, water quality, and land clearing that are traditionally associated with major metropolitan centres."

"Funds from the Living Cities Program will help to ensure that major regional cities can grow and thrive in an ecologically sustainable way," Sharman Stone said.

Over 3 years the Living Cities Program will provide:

In addition, 15% of all Bushcare funding, a Natural Heritage Trust Program, will be allocated to community groups in urban centres. This year around $12 million dollars will be spent to conserve and revegetate native, urban bushland.

"Regional cities are an important part of the Coalition Government's Living Cities Program. This comprehensive environmental strategy will significantly boost the level of resources and information available to local authorities, community, agricultural and industrial groups throughout Australia's major regional cities," Mrs Stone said.

The Living Cities Program will complement work already underway as part of the $1.25 billion Natural Heritage Trust, Australia's largest ever environmental rescue package.

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

Commonwealth of Australia