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Community water grants program scrapped.

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Media Contact Cath O’Connor (03) 5032 4510 -ends-

Wednesday, May 14 2008


Federal Member for Mallee, John Forrest, said today “Dozens of local community groups have been stripped of their ability to carry out water-saving projects under Budget cuts announced by the Rudd Government”.

“The bad news was confirmed with the scrapping of the Coalition Government’s popular Community Water Grants program, which has delivered over 20 million dollars to the Mallee electorate over the past three years,” Mr Forrest said.

“Organisations such as lawn bowls clubs, schools, Landcare groups and country fire brigades now have no way of accessing Federal funding for water-saving projects.

Mr Forrest said the Community Water Grants program had helped over 8000 community groups across Australia save the equivalent of 40,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water each year.

“The program provided up to $50,000 for water-saving projects and inspired community groups across Mallee to become leaders in the conservation of our precious water supply. Successful local projects included the installation of water saving initiatives at St Mary’s School, Cohuna Consolidated School and the Ultima Football Club.”

“The Rudd Government has made much of its promise to give $10,000 grants to surf life saving clubs to install rainwater tanks, whilst other sporting groups get nothing.

“Given the high proportion of surf lifesaving clubs in Mallee, this shows the Rudd governments complete disregard and contempt for country sporting clubs and the role they play in rural communities,” Mr John Forrest said.

“Similarly, the Rudd Government has made much of its promise to give $20,000 grants to local schools. This alternative program offered by the Rudd Government has effectively slashed $20,000 from the maximum grant they can receive for water projects.

“For a Government attempting to trade on environmental credentials, ending water grants to dozens of local community groups sets a poor standard and places a giant question mark over its commitment to saving water,” Mr Forrest said.

John Forrest MP The Nationals Member for Mallee

Phone (03) 5032 4510 Fax (03) 5032 9407