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All go for investment in Condamine's natural resources.



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DAFF05/080WTJ - 8 April 2005

Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Ian Campbell Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Stephen

Robertson

Queensland Minister for the Environment, Local Government, Planning and Women, Desley Boyle

All go for investment in Condamine's natural resources

A green light in the form of $6.7 million in funding has been given to projects to halt salinity, save endangered ecosystems and maintain water quality in Queensland over the next three years.

The funding was announced today by Australian Government Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss, and the Queensland Ministers for Natural Resources, Stephen Robertson, and Environment, Desley Boyle.

This three-year investment comes from the Australian Government's $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust, and joint Australian and State Government funds from the $1.4 billion National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality.

Senator Campbell said the investment would go towards activities to improve the condition and extent of remnant vegetation, and to protect endangered regional plants, animals and ecosystems.

"On-ground work will aim to achieve an increase in both the protection and extent of endangered regional ecosystems, such as nationally-listed Queensland bluegrass and Brigalow communities, and world heritage listed rainforest," he said.

"Taking care of these ecosystems is vital as the region has a complex mosaic of habitats and species containing 2,000 plants types and 500 animal species."

Mr Truss said the region boasted 1.5 million hectares of rich agricultural land, and that the funding would assist land managers to improve soil, weed and pest management.

"Investment from the National Action Plan and the Trust of over $950,000

will be used to put in place improved industry practices, such as reducing the risk of run-off damage and better cropping and grazing practices," he said.

Ms Boyle said: "The Murray Darling is our largest inland waterway".

"It is important we all work together to reduce the risk of salinity damage to land, water and infrastructure like roads and bridges," she said.

Mr Robertson said other activities would tackle issues such as sustainable water use, covering both surface and groundwater.

"Water is a major priority because some of the region's greatest assets include the Condamine River, about 70 recorded wetlands, 12 major dams and the Great Artesian Basin, and over $912,000 over three years will go directly to improving these areas" he said.

The Ministers congratulated all of the groups involved in developing the investment strategy, and said they were looking forward to the results of on-ground activities.

For further information on the Natural Heritage Trust, visit www.nht.gov.au, and for the National Action Plan, visit www.nap.gov.au.

Further media inquiries: Minister Truss' office:

Kylie Butler 02 6277 7520 or 0417 652 488 Senator Campbell's office:

Renae Stoikos 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434 Minister Robertson's office:

Paul Lynch 07 3896 3689 or 0417 728 676 Minister Boyle's office:

Louise Foley 07 3227 8825 or 0407 966 829

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