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Anderson announces funding to states for audit implementation projects

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Media Release z John A nderson Minister for Primary .IntotiSSjUV1 EnerĀ§y ANDERSON ANNOUNCES FUNDING TO STATES FOR AUDIT IMPLEMENTATION PROJECTSDPIE98/93A 31st July, 1998The Federal G overnm ent today announced the first 7 projects, w orth $2 million, under the N ational Land and W ater Resources Audit.The A udit is funded under the Federal Government's N atural Heritage Trust and will provide an independent, objective assessment of the extent of degradation arising from approxim ately tw enty key types of land and w ater problems, including an economic analysis of each problem.Federal Prim ary Industries M inister John Anderson, announced details of the $2 million funding for A udit projects in the States and Territories at today's A griculture & Resource M anagem ent Council of Australia & New Zealand (ARMCANZ) m eeting in Broome.The seven projects are:* Decision support for catchment committees (West Gippsland, Victoria);* D evelopm ent of farming systems and im proving catchment health (Fitzroy Catchment, Queensland);* Supporting and m anaging land use impacts and change (Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australia);* Rangelands trend and condition assessment for the Tropical Savannas (N orthern Territory, Q ueensland and W estern Australia);* Identifying key on-farm responses to manage impacts of dryland salinity (Great Southern Region, W estern Australia);* Sustainable use of w ater resources (Tasmania); and* Native vegetation m apping to support vegetation m anagem ent in the low- rainfall cropping areas (Walgett Shire, New South Wales).M r A nderson said State and Territory commitment to the A udit is well dem onstrated by the quality of projects p ut forward." All of the projects address key issues as States and Territories work w ith rural communities to develop Regional Australia," he said." The projects m atch the seven A udit 'them es' and reinforce the importance of undertaking the N ational Land and W ater Resources A udit as a key N atural Heritage Trust initiative.These projects provide a m eans to develop, test and apply a range of m ethods and activities central to the A udit."M edia ContactrRobert Haynes (02) 6277 7520 or 0419 493 511Parliament House. Canberra ACT 2600 Tel: (06)277 7520 Fax: (06) 273 4120

Additional detail on State and Territory Projects

Decision support for catchment committees (West Gippsland, Victoria - $325 000)

The W est G ippsland area of Victoria is environmentally diverse and supports a range of intensive land uses. The Regional Catchment Strategy identifies a num ber of key priorities and issues - spanning m ost of the A udit's seven themes.

The D epartm ent of N atural Resources and Environment is working in close collaboration w ith the Catchment Committee. Together, they will dem onstrate a process for rapidly collecting and integrating natural resource m anagem ent datasets, to address a range of environmental, economic and social concerns. Data and inform ation will be made w idely accessible using Internet-based tools.

Contact: Victor Sposito 03 9637 8387

Development of farming systems and improving catchment health (Fitzroy Catchment, Queensland - $375 000)

The Fitzroy is currently subject to w ater resource developm ent, major changes in land use and is a major contributor of sedim ents to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.

Regional and locally driven approaches to planning are underw ay to assess the resource condition of the Fitzroy Catchment. The capacity for the resource m anagers to adopt sustainable resource m anagem ent approaches will be identified, tested and


Contact: Don Yule 07 4938 4242

Supporting and managing land use impacts and change (Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australia - $313 000)

The M ount Lofty Ranges are undergoing rapid land use change and urbanisation - leading to concerns about changes in flow regimes, w ater quality, and m anagem ent of arable agricultural land.

The project will integrate natural resource m anagem ent information and develop a land use classification framework. This will meet the information needs of urban and rural developm ent planners, natural resource managers, and property valuers. Project results will contribute to integrated sustainable natural resources m anagem ent and identification of sustainable, profitable production opportunities.

Contact: A ndrew Johnson 08 8303 9532

Rangelands trend and condition assessment for the Tropical Savannas (Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia - $200 000)

The productive north A ustralian rangelands cover distinctive biogeographical regions. Joint activities will be coordinated through the Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Savannas w ith CSIRO, landholder groups, and the W estern Australian, N orthern Territory, and Q ueensland governments.

This project will establish a fram ework to identify rangeland condition and historical trends over a diversity of landscapes and intensities of land use - addressing both productive and biodiversity aspects of rangelands management.

Contact: Rod A pplegate 08 8999 4568

Identifying key on-farm responses to manage impacts of dryland salinity (Great Southern Region, Western Australia - $290 000)

This project contributes data and helps build solutions for one of the key degradation issues facing W estern Australia - dryland salinity. The project will develop scenarios for the extent of salinity in 2020 under varying land use practices.

The cost and the benefits of best m anagem ent practices will be detailed and recom m endations m ade for specific actions for a series of catchments in the Great Southern Region. The project develops the Dryland salinity theme of the A udit and

builds upon the WA Salinity Action Program.

Contact: Dr N orm Campbell 08 9333 6305

Sustainable use of water resources (Tasmania - $273 000)

W ater availability and w ater use efficiency are key issues for rural Tasmania. As Tasmania develops and im plem ents its W ater Reform package the w ork undertaken w ith assistance from the A udit will build a database for the State Water M anagem ent Plan.

Contact: Robert Phillips 03 6233 6605

Native vegetation mapping to support vegetation management in the low-rainfall cropping areas (Walgett Shire, New South Wales - $258 000)

Farmers and Landcare groups in New South Wales, need access to good quality vegetation information, particularly in those areas facing increased land use pressures.

This project will build on the vegetation m apping undertaken by the M urray Darling Basin Com m ission's Rivercare project, draw ing together m any data sets to im prove the range of data available and develop decision support tools to support regional vegetation m anagem ent planning.

Contact: Paul Kelly 02 9895 7152