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Envirofund drought round funds to double.



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DAFF05/196MJ - 13 October 2005

Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation - Senator Ian Macdonald Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage - Senator Ian Campbell

Envirofund drought round funds to double

Funding for the second Drought Recovery Round of the Australian Government Envirofund is doubling to $20 million from the initial $10 million.

Australian Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald, said this responds to the unprecedented demand for grants under the programme, providing additional support for the drought-ravaged farming communities.

Senator Campbell said applications closed at the end of August for a $10 million Drought Recovery Round that was announced in May as part of a series of activities targeting drought-affected communities.

"We've received a record number of applications from people in Exceptional Circumstances (EC) declared areas for drought recovery projects," Senator Campbell said. "That's why we are doubling the amount allocated to the Round so that more eligible applicants will receive funding.

"Under the Envirofund Drought Recovery Round, people in EC-declared areas were invited to apply for grants of up to $50,000 for projects that aim to protect land, water, plant and animal life from the effects of the drought."

Senator Macdonald said successful projects will help protect our natural resources from the drought, assist with recovery preparations, or attempt to prevent environmental damage when the drought ends.

"The next round of the Australian Government Envirofund - round eight - will open in February 2006," Senator Macdonald said.

"This will be a 'normal' round of the Envirofund, open to everyone, and covering the entire range of environmental and sustainable agricultural projects, including those targeting coastal areas. People in drought-affected areas can also apply.

"Since it was launched in 2002, the Government has approved over 4,700 community-based Australian Government Envirofund projects, and given away over $70 million in funding."

For more information about Envirofund, or to register for an application form for Round 8, visit www.nht.gov.au/envirofund or call 1800 065 823.

Further media inquiries: Senator Macdonald's office: David Crisafulli 07 4771 3066 or 0400 144 483 Senator Campbell's office: Renae Stoikos 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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