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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
6 September 2002
Over 50 nationally threatened plants and animals and five threatened ecological communities received added protection today with the announcement of $496,700 in funding from the Howard Government's Natural Heritage Trust.
The Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, said the funding for the Threatened Species Network Community Grants Program, a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government's $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust and the World Wide Fund For Nature, would help conserve Australia's rich biodiversity.
"The 36 projects funded in the fifth round of the Threatened Species Network Community Grants will protect a wide range of species and ecological communities in rural and urban communities around Australia such as the Gilbert's Potoroo, Giant Barred Frog, Mary River Cod, Swift Parrot, Fat-leaved Wattle, Prickly Raspwart and Grassy White Box Woodlands," Dr Kemp said.
Dr Kemp was represented by the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone, at a special event at Melbourne Zoo today to mark the threatened species day on 7 September and to announce the Grants. The announcement of the latest round of Grants is timely, with tomorrow being National Threatened Species Day. This awareness-raising event is held annually on 7 September to mark the date the last Tasmanian Tiger died in captivity in 1936.
"These projects will survey more than 734,000 hectares and improve the management of around 81,600 hectares of habitat. On-ground activities include almost 70 kilometres of fencing, revegetation, translocation of species, weed and predator control and the closing of artificial watering points to minimise any damage caused by grazing stock," said Dr Stone.
Dr Kemp said the Threatened Species Network Community Grants represent a community-level response to broader natural resource management issues and are a valuable way of capacity building for local communities and landholders.
"The success of the program to date reflects the effective partnership that has been formed with WWF and I look forward to seeing the positive outcomes from the latest round of successful projects," Dr Kemp said.
WWF Australia Chief Executive Officer Dr David Butcher said a significant component in the success of the Threatened Species Network Community Grants was the contribution of local communities around Australia.
"Community involvement in threatened species conservation is crucial to the survival of Australia's unique animals, plants and ecosystems. These grants are a vital step toward encouraging communities to step into the role of custodians of their local environment. The impact of community participation in conservation work cannot be underestimated," Dr Butcher said.
A list of Natural Heritage Trust Threatened Species Network Community Grants in 2002-03 is attached.
To obtain a copy of the National Threatened Species Day information kit please contact free-call 1800 803 772 or for further information including, a state breakdown of the Natural Heritage Trust Threatened Species Network Community Grants, please visit the Environment Australia web site at: www.ea.gov.au/tsd.
Devena Wahlstrom Dr Kemp's office (02) 6277 7640 or 0412 257 334
Rosslyn Beeby WWF (02) 9281 5515 or 0419 520 960