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Media Release
Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
&
Australian Government Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry
Hon. Warren Truss MP

3 December 2004

Funding available for innovative environmental work


The Australian Government is encouraging funding applications to support projects that will result in significant improvements to the way we manage land and water, promote sustainable agriculture and conserve biodiversity.

The funding from the second round of the Natural Heritage Trust's $10 million National Competitive Component was announced today by the Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss.

Senator Campbell said the funding will support mainly non-government organisations to undertake multi-year projects that promote a national approach to improving the way Australia's natural resources are managed.

"The Australian Government is providing funding of $10 million over three years for projects that are new, innovative or pilot activities that break new ground in natural resource management," he said.

"Preference will be given to projects which use good science and data to achieve real environmental outcomes and encourage community involvement in protecting our natural heritage."

Senator Campbell said 10 projects approved earlier this year under Round 1 amounting to $5.6 million were a good examples of the types of activities being supported.

"For example, Greening Australia is conducting a feasibility study into a 'River Recovery' program to support regional investment in restoring river health. The project received $2.9 million to ensure regional communities have access to the latest research and innovations in river management and is expected to garner a further $2 million through a business leaders roundtable," he said.

Mr Truss said that a visionary project by the University of Queensland had received $500,000 over three years to conserve valuable watering points in Australia's rangelands.

"This project will use machine vision technology to enable control of grazing pressure on large parts of the Australian rangelands, help control feral animals, manage livestock in pastoral areas and monitor native wildlife and exotic diseases in the rangelands in an inexpensive way," he said.

"Weed control is also being addressed, with $138,000 awarded to the Cooperative Research Centre for Australian Weed Management over three years to build a national, community-based model for preventing new weed incursions. This project will harness and foster existing community interest and skills in invasive plants such as Lantana and Serrated Tussock.".

Applications close on 18 February 2005. Information kits and application forms are available by calling James Windle on 02 6274 2750 or by emailing james.windle@deh.gov.au.

Background on the National Competitive Component and the projects which were funded in the first round of funding can be found at: www.nht.gov.au/nht2/ncc

Media contacts:
Wayne Grant (Senator Campbell) 02 6277 7640 or 0407 845 280
Tim Langmead (Mr Truss) 02 6277 7520 or 0418 221 433

Commonwealth of Australia