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Joint Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
Member for Parramatta
Ross Cameron

16 July 2003

Improved Biodiversity for Parramatta's Vineyard Creek Reserve

Community groups were today commended for their contribution to enhancing and protecting the biodiversity of Parramatta's Vineyard Creek Reserve.

The Federal Environment and Heritage Minister, Dr David Kemp today joined the Federal Member for Parramatta, Ross Cameron and members of the Vineyard Creek Reserve Committee on a tour of the committee's environmental work at the Vineyard Creek Reserve.

"Through a strong commitment to its local environment, the Parramatta community has made an invaluable contribution to the long-term protection of Vineyard Creek Reserve," Dr Kemp said.

"To date, community-based activities in the reserve have helped restore the quality of native vegetation, resulting in improved linkages across the catchment and the conservation of vulnerable plant species."

The Vineyard Creek Committee recently received $8,731 from the Australian Government Envirofund, building on more than $17,000 funding previously granted under the Natural Heritage Trust's Bushcare Program.

"Envirofund encourages the community to be involved in managing their local environment, and the Vineyard Creek Reserve Committee is one example of local communities working with Government to address environmental and natural resource management problems," Dr Kemp said.

Mr Cameron said the recent funding would allow the Committee and the Parramatta Council to continue to work together to improve biodiversity and protect vulnerable plant species in the Vineyard Creek Reserve.

"The Commonwealth Government's continued financial support will allow the continuation of important activities such as weed removal, seed collection, raising community awareness, and planting days," Mr Cameron said.

The Australian Government Envirofund is the community component of the $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust and supports on ground actions to target local problems. More than $11 million has been invested in Envirofund projects in NSW in 2002-03, including four projects in the Parramatta area.

In addition to Vineyard Creek Reserve, Envirofund projects will re-connect previously isolated patches of Cooks River Clay Plain Scrub Forest; restore and protect an 11 hectare bushland reserve at Duck River and rehabilitate and revegetate Robin Hood Park South.

The Envirofund is part of the second phase of the Natural Heritage Trust. These projects build on the $575,454 provided for 10 projects in the Parramatta area under the first phase of the Trust.

The recently signed bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments for the second phase of the Natural Heritage Trust has triggered the release of $20.5 million for priority projects state-wide. Regional components of Natural Heritage Trust funding are targeted to priorities identified in catchment Blueprints prepared by Catchment Management Boards in consultation with local communities.

Of the $20.5 million Commonwealth Government funding for priority projects, $260,100 has been provided for three Sydney Harbour Catchment Management Board projects with impacts in the Parramatta region:

Commonwealth Government Trust funding is matched in-kind by the NSW Government.

Commonwealth of Australia