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Joint Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon. Dr David Kemp
Federal Member for Moreton
Gary Hardgrave MP
28 October 2003
The Moreton electorate is already reaping benefits from its share of Queensland's $235 million in federal funding for environmental projects under the Howard Government's $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust.
Since 1996, nearly 1800 projects were funded by the Trust for environmental and natural resource management activities across Queensland.
Visiting the Moreton electorate today, Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, said Moreton was one of many Queensland electorates to benefit from Trust funding.
"Four very significant projects, totalling over $222,000 and involving all levels of government and the community, have been funded in Moreton through the Natural Heritage Trust, providing real, long-term benefits for the region," Dr Kemp said.
"In particular, the Norman Creek Demonstration Catchment Project is making a significant contribution to the local environment by improving water flow to support habitat and wildlife.
"This project received $103,619 from phase one of the Trust and $27,000 from the Trust's Envirofund program which helped fund the realignment of the creek with its natural channel involving activities such as weed removal and tree planting."
Dr Kemp today inspected the Norman Creek Demonstration Catchment Project site with Federal Member for Moreton, Gary Hardgrave.
"Further Trust funding in the electorate included $5731 to compile and publish a directory of key players in Queensland's Marine and Coastal Network, and $81,942 for the design and construction of a wetland to assist in the removal of nutrients from the Oxley Creek Wastewater plant," Mr Hardgrave said.
Mr Hardgrave said all three projects were driven by strong community support.
"The Oxley Creek wetland project - a cooperative effort by the Brisbane City Council and the Universities of Queensland and Griffith - improved water quality in surrounding wetlands, providing a better ecological environment for the species that inhabit them," he said.
"The Marine and Coastal Network directory of government, industry, conservation and community groups involved in marine and coastal issues is a great example of the partnerships forged by initiatives such as the Trust. This network directory is a valuable resource to the local community, providing vital information needed to better manage coasts and marine environments."
Under the first phase of the Trust, $1.7 million was committed to community-driven environmental work across the country. Under the second phase of the Trust, the Howard Government has committed an additional $1 billion to extend the Trust for five more years. This is helping to continue the momentum of excellent environmental work underway and public enthusiasm to repair their local environment.
Of this, the Australian Government Envirofund - a key community component of the Trust - has provided nearly $4,000 to the Les Atkinson Park Bushcare Group to restore and protect habitat and wildlife for over 40 species of birds, frogs and marsupials at Stable Swamp Creek at Sunnybank.
Dr Kemp said the Moreton electorate's environment would continue to benefit from the Trust as part of a recently signed interim financial agreement between the Federal and Queensland governments.
"Under this agreement, the Howard Government will provide $16 million to natural resource management activities across the State while a bilateral agreement for delivery of the Natural Heritage Trust extension is being finalised by both governments," he said.
"Moreton is already reaping the benefits of the interim financial agreement with the recent approval of $1 million for more than 10 natural resource management facilitators and coordinators and other community support staff to progress activities in the Southeast Queensland region."
Dr Kemp said facilitators and coordinators played a key role in the delivery of the Trust by promoting natural resource issues among stakeholders and providing support to communities with development and implementation of regional natural resource management plans.
"Regional plans provide the basis for Government investment in Trust activities and the appointment of facilitators in the Moreton electorate ensures that natural resource issues will be addressed in this region," he said.