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Practical support for voluntary groups.

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Leader of The Nationals in the Senate, Ron Boswell, today encouraged local voluntary organisations to apply for grants from the Australian Government to enable them to continue their conservation work. General purpose funding is available to eligible organisations through the Government’s programme of Grants to Voluntary Environment and Heritage Organisations (GVEHO) to help with administrative costs.

“The Australian Government recognises and supports the valuable role that voluntary organisations play in protecting our land, animals and historic places,” Senator Boswell said.

“Hundreds of locals dedicate themselves to caring for our environment and heritage, often on their own time and with limited resources, and I’m pleased that the Australian Government is chipping in to help them with their running costs.

“The GVEHO Programme provides practical funding for administrative costs rather than specific projects, and could be used for salaries, office rental, utilities, office equipment, or staff and volunteer training.”

Senator Boswell said groups are assessed on their track record and potential to deliver grassroots environment projects or their involvement in the protection of our unique heritage.

“The programme supports activities such as habitat recovery for native plants and animals, water quality improvement, and tackling introduced pests and other threats to biodiversity. It also supports other groups working to conserve Australia’s heritage.”

Multi-year grants (for the three year period 2005-06 to 2007-08) are available. “This will make it easier for smaller community groups to plan for the future with greater financial security,” Senator Boswell said.

“Over the last five years the Australian Government has provided nearly $6 million to environment and heritage organisations under this programme and I encourage all eligible local groups to apply for a slice of the latest round of funding available.“

Eligible organisations can apply for grants of up to $10,000 per year over the three-year funding period. However, grants of higher amounts will be considered in exceptional circumstances and where there is a demonstrated need.

Guidelines and application forms for the GVEHO programme are available at, by email or by telephone 02 6274 2422.

Applications close at 5pm on 2 December 2005.

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