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Tasmania short changed by Natural Heritage Trust.

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Tasmania short changed by Natural Heritage Trust

Whilst welcoming yesterday’s announcement of a decision to extend the life of the Natural Heritage Trust, Senator Harradine said that Tasmania is being short changed.

Yesterday the Federal and Tasmanian Governments announced that they had agreed the Federal Government would provide $25 million to Tasmania over the second five-year phase of the Natural Heritage Trust. The State Government has agreed to match those funds.

“The Federal Government made a commitment in 1997 that ten percent of Natural Heritage Trust funds would go to Tasmania. The Government agreed that there were special arguments entitling Tasmania and its unique and fragile environment to ten percent of the national program funds”, Senator Harradine said.

“But yesterday the Federal Government announced funding for the second five-year phase of the Natural Heritage Trust. Only 2.5 percent of the second phase funding is to go to Tasmania. Even with the State Government’s commitment to match funds, 5 percent falls way short of the earlier agreement.

“As the Prime Minister said in his media release on 7 October 1997 ‘the Natural Heritage Trust is the most significant environmental package in the nation’s history’.

“All areas of Tasmania have been involved in receiving assistance from the Trust and many new jobs have been created on programs as diverse as the greening of the North-West, the King River clean-up and visitors centres.

“The $25 million for Tasmania comes from approximately $1 billion of new ‘second phase’ Natural Heritage Trust funding. The $2.7 billion amount referred to by the Federal Government is funding for the Natural Heritage Trust over ten years, from 1997-98 to 2006-07.

“Tasmania is being short-changed by approximately $75 million.”

18 July 2003

Senator Brian Harradine, Tel. 03 6234 5122