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Real local solutions for our environment.

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To build on a lifetime's commitment to real local solutions for Canberra’s environment, ACT Liberal Senator Gary Humphries is very pleased to be joined by Giulia Jones and James Milligan to announce the commitment of $375,000 under the Coalition’s Green Army program.

Senator Gary Humphries has a strong record on the environment and earlier this year released a brochure called Real Local Solutions for our Environment, talking about his achievements and his vision on the way forward.

“I am pleased to announce this funding today, which will be available on an ongoing basis to tackle local environmental priorities,” Senator Gary Humphries said today.

“This is the kind of real and direct action that will deliver better outcomes on the ground while having a positive impact on the entire planet.

“There is no doubt that we need to do more to protect our native flora and fauna and address environmental degradation and this will build on our nation's capacity to act.

“If elected, a Coalition Government will provide three grants of $125,000 each for three local organisations which do exceptional work, as follows:

ACT Landkeepers Program

“Green-army funding will be used to expand the program, particularly to support regional Park Care initiatives.

“ACT Landkeepers’ existing volunteer ‘Green Team’ model will be copied to develop a ‘Park Team’ whose efforts will be targeted at supporting local, pre-existing, Park Care plans and programs. Funding will be used to support training for junior nursery and bushcare

professionals, as well as coordinating, mentoring and leading groups of volunteers in local ‘Park Care’ and ‘Friends of’ activities.

“Outcomes will include: æ Expanded capacity to deliver on-ground actions by community groups; æ Direct implementation of bushcare projects (e.g. seedlings in the ground, weeds removed);

æ Increased experience for professionals in training and mentoring volunteers; and æ An expanded volunteer base upon which community action can be implemented.

Billabong Aboriginal Corporation

“This grant willl allow Billabong Aboriginal Corporation to: æ Propagate 50,000 ACT & region native tree and grass species; æ Regenerate 3 km of river frontage on the Murrumbidgee corridor in the North Canberra area; æ Train 8-10 participants in CALM II & ICT II which are eligible for

ABSTUDY/AUSTUDY. æ Provide 1 FT traineeship with an opportunity for full time employment.

“This project provides a range of environmental, educational and climate change reduction benefits.

“Billabong is seeking to lease on a long term basis a parcel of land that is seriously degraded.

“This project will provide the initial regeneration of the block. This land, when fully regenerated, will provide the community with a tactile participatory environmental education training facility.

Ginninderra Creek Catchment

“This grant will help to create an effective wildlife habitat link across the Ginninderra Creek catchment (GCC) to restore and maintain as much of the natural setting as possible by the involvement of local schools, Landcare and Parkcare groups as well as rural and peri-urban landholders adjacent to the GCC.

“The Ginninderra Catchment is a highly urbanised environment. Urban habitat corridors provide an extremely important link to nature and to the benefits from interaction with the environment for local communities. Urban habitat requires constant monitoring and needs strong community input and action to maintain healthy, functioning community open space.

“This investment will:

æ Enhance and create a new urban habitat. æ Reduce the human impact on environmental systems. æ Allow us to better understand of the importance of the Bush-Urban interface. æ Closer involve rural and peri-urban landholders with catchment issues. æ Lead to closer interaction with school and local community groups.

“As well as delivering better environmental outcomes today, this progrma will provide the skills and training for future generations and will have a lasting impact.

“I am proud of this real local solution and this significant investment in Canberra’s environmental sustainability and future,” Senator Humphries concluded.

13 August 2010