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Truss congratulates Toowoomba landholders.

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DAFF05/038WT - 19 February 2005

Truss congratulates Toowoomba landholders

Australian Agriculture Minister Warren Truss has paid tribute to farming communities in Queensland's Murray-Darling and Condamine regions for their continuing involvement in landcare and the Government's regional natural resource management (NRM) processes.

Mr Truss was speaking at the Toowoomba Landcare Discovery Centre, where he was a guest of the Queensland Murray-Darling Committee and the Condamine Alliance.

"These two organisations are to be commended for maintaining a high level of community and landholder involvement in the regional planning process.

"Both regions have finalised their regional NRM plans and are now moving to implement them," Mr Truss said.

Earlier this week, the Australian Agriculture Minister announced that the two regions would receive $33.8 million in total indicative funding from the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality over the next three years.

This funding is on top of this year's allocation from the National Landcare Program of $840,000 for the Border Rivers and Maranoa/Balonne catchments, and $635,000 for the Condamine catchment.

This funding will cover a range of projects, including:

● monitoring good, on-farm practices;

● using intensive animal production waste by-products for broadacre

crop production; ● better soil and land management practices on dairy farms; and

● strategically managing the problem weed, parthenium.

Mr Truss said the projects are consistent with regional NRM priorities that were identified through the regions' plans.

"It is all about finding local solutions to local problems. It is important that regional groups and local communities are closely involved in determining their natural resource management priorities.

"It is also important that they have the funds needed to address these priorities.

"The Coalition recognises that it is only through sustainable NRM that our farmers can be assured of a profitable future and that Australians, more widely, can continue to enjoy our magnificent environment," Mr Truss said.

Further media inquiries:

Minister Truss' office: Kylie Butler - 02 6277 7520 or 0417 652 488

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