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Ballarat and surrounding communities urged to help save water.



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Julian McGauran Liberal Senator for Victoria

Ballarat and Surrounding Communites Urged to Help Save Water

Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Communities in Ballarat and surrounding districts have today been encouraged to consider how they can help save water in partnership with the Australian Government through a Community Water Grant.

Liberal Senator for Victoria, Julian McGauran, welcomed the launch of the second round of the Australian Government’s $200 million Community Water Grants programme, announced today by Australian Ministers for the Environment and

Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, Senator Eric Abetz.

Senator McGauran said, “people in and around Ballarat have become very aware of the importance of our fragile water resource, witnessing first hand the drying up of Lake Wendouree and the desparate situation of local farmers.”

“Given this local experience and understanding, I urge all agricultural groups, conservation organisations, sporting clubs, schools, service clubs, local government, and other community organisations to apply for a Community Water Grant to help save and protect the health of our local water sources,” Senator McGauran said.

“Funding of up to $50,000 will be provided for water saving, recycling and treatment projects that demonstrate community involvement and a clear public benefit.

“The programme encourages better water use and improvements in water health and quality through practical on-the-ground projects, such as reducing pollutants reaching our streams, and water recycling and efficiency initiatives,” Senator McGauran said.

Senator McGauran said round one of the programme was an outstanding success, with 1,750 water saving projects funded that are expected to save around 18 billion litres of water a year (equal to 18,000 Community swimming pools).

This included 21 separate projects in the Ballarat electorate amounting to more than $656,000 worth of Federal Government funding and, more importantly, savings of

more than 46 million litres of water each year. The Community Water Grants programme is the community component of the $2 billion Australian Government Water Fund.

Application forms and guidelines are available from www.australia.gov.au/communitywatergrants or by calling 1800 780 730. Applications open on 1 July 2006 and close on 25 August 2006.