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Western Australia to benefit from $1.5 million Rangelands partnership.

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Joint Media Release Minister for the Environment and Heritage Dr David Kemp & Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Warren Truss & Federal Member for Kalgoorlie Barry Haase MP

6 April 2004


Western Australia to benefit from $1.5 million Rangelands partnership

The Rangelands in Western Australia will share in more than $1.5 million in Australian Government funds over the next three years to build partnerships to improve Rangeland management and pastoral profitability.

The funding was announced today by Federal Ministers for Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss under the Natural Heritage Trust's Regional Competitive Component.

While visiting Kalgoorlie today with Federal Member, Barry Haase, Dr Kemp said the aim of the Regional Competitive Component was to support multi-regional projects that would lead to significant improvements in the sustainable management of natural resources.

“This project will encourage pastoralists, technical advisers and other stakeholders to share their experiences and learn from each other - adapting, demonstrating and assessing the value of improved management systems, ” he said.

“These systems will be developed with individual pastoralists to suit their capacity to improve ecological systems, their financial health and the social well-being of their communities.”

Mr Truss said the project offered pastoralists ways to improve current grazing management systems, to enhance resource condition and improve productivity in Australia's southern rangelands through sustainable livestock production systems and by building change among family-run pastoral enterprises.

“Past experience shows that co-learning approaches engaging graziers and new approaches to management systems can substantially improve the way we manage our grazing lands,” he said.

“In some parts of semi-arid Australia, grazing management has changed little since settlement. Poor natural resource management would leave the pastoral sector vulnerable to collapse.”

This $1.5 million is part of a $20 million investment to be allocated over a three-year period to support 17 multi-regional, large-scale projects Australia-wide.

The 17 projects approved under the Regional Competitive Component were selected by the Natural Heritage Trust Advisory Committee, which embodies some of Australia's most respected scientific and natural resource management experts.

For further information on Building Partnerships to Improve Rangeland Management and Pastoral Profitability in Semi-Arid Australia, phone Kel Baldock: (08) 9455 5477.