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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

1 December 1999

NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST ONE-STOP SHOP OPEN FOR BUSINESS


Applications for Natural Heritage Trust funding are now being called for the new millennium, with community based projects sought to help rehabilitate and protect Victoria's natural resources.

Dr Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, today encouraged Victorians, in the city and country, to nominate a local environmental or sustainable agricultural project for funding.

"Over the past few decades Victoria has established a proud record of sustainable natural resource management and development. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure our fragile natural resources and rich agricultural regions can be managed sustainably for the benefit of future generations," Sharman Stone said.

The Federal Government's $1.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust is the single largest investment in Australia's natural environment by any Government. More than 3,500 community groups across Australia have received funding through the Trust to date.

In 2000-2001 approximately $300 million will be available nationally for Bushcare, Landcare, Rivercare, wetland rehabilitation, endangered species protection, farm forestry, restocking native fish populations, weed control and establishing new national parks and reserves.

"Victorian farmers, community and environmental groups and schools are already hard at work with this year's grants but now is the time to start planning for the year ahead," Sharman Stone said.

This year Victorians shared in a record $38 million in funding from the Trust for 450 projects around the state.

Projects included a recovery program for the endangered Superb Parrot, an integrated urban Bushcare project in Melbourne's suburbs, catchment coordination for the Snowy, a major irrigation and drainage system for the Goulburn Valley's foodbowl and rejuvenation of the Port Phillip Bay Ramsar Wetlands.

"Projects of all sizes and types, in the city, suburbs and country are welcome. No group or project is too small to be part of the Trust, and it is never too late to join a local Bushcare, Landcare or friends of group," Sharman Stone said.

Dr Stone said that in response to community suggestions, this year's the application guide included additional advice and contacts for local facilitators who will help groups develop projects and apply for funding.

Applications close on 25 February 2000. Copies of the 2000-2001 Guide to New Applications are available from the Natural Heritage Trust freecall hotline on 1800 065 823.

Media Inquiries:
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415

Commonwealth of Australia