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1000 practical ways to assist the local environment.

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BACK Home | Media Releases DAFF07/108AJ - 2 October 2007

Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation - Senator Eric Abetz Assistant Minister for the Environment and Water Resources - John Cobb MP

1000 practical ways to assist the local environment

Communities right across Australia are gearing up for action to conserve their local environment following today’s announcement of successful projects from Round 9 of the Australian Government Envirofund.

Almost 1000 projects will share in the $20 million in funding, which was announced today by Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, Senator Eric Abetz, and Assistant Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, John Cobb MP.

The announcement was made today at Bicentennial Park, Bathurst, where a cheque for $45,409 has been provided through Envirofund to the Ben Chifley Catchment Committee whose project will improve the Campbell’s River System, primarily by removing Willows.

Senator Abetz said Envirofund demonstrated the Australian Government’s commitment to supporting Australian communities in their efforts to improve the condition of Australia’s natural resources.

“Since its inception in 2002, the Australian Government has now provided Australian communities with more than $130 million to undertake almost 8000 Envirofund projects,” Senator Abetz said.

“Today’s announcement of successful projects from Round 9 of the Envirofund ensures that local people and community groups continue to receive the support and funding they need to tackle important environment issues in their local community.

“Australian communities are already making a real difference by helping to improve agricultural sustainability and conserve and restore Australia’s environment.

“For example, the Ben Chifley Catchment Committee’s project here near Bathurst means a real practical benefit will be made to the Campbell’s River system by removing the Weed of National Significance, willows.

“This will lead to improved water flow and quality and enhanced natural habitat.

“Another project at St Arnaud in Victoria will see the Winjallok Landcare Group receive $40,000 to improve soil condition and create vegetation corridors on 56 hectares of previously cleared land.

“The group will use more than 24 kilograms of seed and more than 18,000 native seedlings to replant 12 sites in the area and will build more than three kilometres of fencing to protect the area from stock.

“This work will regenerate the area, ensure a safe, natural habitat for local widlife, and help to improve soil condition for local landowners - providing great benefits for both the environment and sustainable agriculture in the region,” Senator Abetz said.

Mr Cobb said the Australian Government Envirofund supported a wide range of projects to improve Australia’s environment and water resources, including the protection of wetlands and coastal regions.

“While other political parties talk about the environment we are putting practical, on the ground measures in place. These measures are also helping provide the tools for farmers and community groups to cope with the drought,” he said.

“The Australian Government is providing just over $28,000 to the Conservation Council of South Australia for a project to protect the swamp and dry-heath habitat of the endangered Southern Emu-wren.

“This project will be undertaken across seven local properties and will include building stock-proof fencing to reduce domestic grazing pressure and the removal of weeds such as blackberry and gorse.

“More than 290 hectares of native vegetation will be protected, including 64 hectares of the Fleurieu Peninsula, an area that is also listed as critically endangered.

“With less than 500 birds remaining in the wild, this Envirofund project is vitally important to the future survival of the Southern Emu-wren.

“We are also providing nearly $15,000 for a project to restore and protect an important turtle habitat near Dandaragan in Western Australia.

“The project will involve erecting two kilometres of fencing and installing two watering points to prevent stock entering the important yuccan wetland, planting 900 native trees and shrubs and extensive weed control to improve turtle habitat, and construction of a new viewing platform for use by Indigenous and non-Indigenous elders, youth and natural resource managers to hold field days on traditional land use.

“The project will improve water quality and encourage local wildlife, including turtles, back to the wetlands,” Mr Cobb said.

Both Senator Abetz and Mr Cobb congratulated the individuals and community groups receiving funding through the Australian Government Envirofund for their continued efforts in conserving Australia’s natural resources.

“It’s great to see so many people involved in Envirofund projects and we thank them for their commitment and dedication to improving Australia’s environment,” they said.

“These people are doing critical work to safeguard our natural resources for future generations and we encourage all Australians to apply for an Envirofund grant and help make a difference to the their local environment.”

Envirofund is the local component of the Australian Government’s $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust.

Individuals and groups can apply for grants of up to $50,000 for local projects such as planting native plants, fencing to protect native bushland, skill and knowledge building activities, and trials of new techniques for sustainable farming, forestry or fishing.

The full list of projects is available on the Envirofund website at