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$708,827 funding for Victorian drought recovery measures.

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AFFA03/074MJ - 7 May 2003

Federal Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation - Senator Ian Macdonald Federal Minister for theEnvironment and Heritage - Dr David Kemp

$708,827 funding for Victorian drought recovery measures

Environmental work underway to address the effects of drought in Victoria will receive a funding boost of $708,827 from the Howard Government's Australian Government Envirofund.

Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and Federal Minister for Fisheries Forestry and Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald, today announced a further $6.7 million in funding nationally from a special drought recovery round of Envirofund which includes $708,827 for 37 projects in Victoria. This is in addition to $3.3 million in priority drought recovery funding announced in March.

"This special round of funding involves grants of up to $30,000 for community groups to carry out on-ground environmental work in drought-affected areas, some of which is already underway as well as new projects that are about to start," Dr Kemp said.

Funded projects to take place in Victoria include:

z $26,664 to protect riparian vegetation along Bendigo Creek, near Dingee north of

Bendigo in central Victoria. The project will involve fencing to exclude stock to reduce bank erosion and pollution of the creek; z $11,910 to restore Nanneella Bushland Reserve at Nanneella, north east of

Bendigo in central Victoria. The project will remove rubbish on the site and the dam will be filled in and sown to suitable indigenous vegetation; and z $4,840 to enhance the natural resources of Kyabram in central Victoria by

protecting remnant vegetation, revegetating public land, weed control and clearing rubbish.

The $10 million drought recovery round is part of the popular Australian Government Envirofund, which is the community component of the Howard Government's $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust. The drought recovery round is also an element of the $900 million package of measures introduced by the Government to help drought-affected Australian communities.

"It is only through community-driven projects that we can effectively manage the effect this drought is having on our environment. This is why funding is channelled directly to community groups, because they have the local knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm to deliver on-ground results," Dr Kemp said.

"Encouragingly, applications were received not only from groups seeking to maintain and build upon their existing on-ground work but from a large number of new community groups, working in partnership with the Natural Heritage Trust for the first time," Senator Macdonald added.

"Applications for grants under this round were very competitive and of a very high standard. The successful applicants are to be commended for their outstanding efforts and we look forward to seeing the results of their hard work."

Further funding is now available from the Envirofund with the next round closing 5pm, Friday 4 July 2003. Application forms are available by calling 1800 065 823 or visiting For further information about projects funded in Victoria, visit the Natural Heritage Trust web site at:

Further media inquiries:

Senator Macdonald's office: Philip Connole (02) 6277 7270 or 0417 063 605 Dr Kemp's office: Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400