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National soil conservation program funds approved

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4 December 1989 Pie 89/335C


Senator Peter Cook, Minister for Resources, today announced the first round of new project funding approvals under the National Soil Conservation Program (NSCP) in 1989-90.

He has approved 150 new project proposals valued at $4.19 million, of which about $1.8 million would be allocated under the Community Landcare Support sub-program of the NSCP.

"These funds will directly support the activities of 66 landholder-based community groups throughout Australia and five Dunecare groups in New South Wales in tackling local soil degradation problems,“ Senator Cook said.

"They will also be used by State agencies to provide the infrastructural and technical support necessary to enable landcare groups to form and operate effectively into the future."

In this regard the Soil Conservation Advisory Committee (which has the job of recommending projects for funding) had recognised the need for additional training of existing technical support staff and Landcare group members, and had

recommended that $300,000 be for this purpose out of the $800,000 allocated to the Public Awareness, Education and Training sub-program.

The rest of the funds approved would be provided to State agencies for Major Program Support.

Senator Cook said 568 project applications for funding in 1989-90, valued at $24.2 million, were received by the closing date this year.

"Though it is gratifying to see such an interest being shown in land degradation control, the large number of proposals has obviously given the Soil Conservation Advisory Committee a monumental task.

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"The Committee has therefore decided to present its recommendations to me in two stages," he said.

"A number of projects, including those submitted under the Research sub-program, are still being considered.

"I would expect to have the Committee's recommendations on these within the next two weeks."

Enquiries: Lindsay Nothrop (062) 724627 Dominic Nagle (062) 777480