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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP

 

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Joint Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
&
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Warren Truss
&
Victorian Minister for Environment and Water
John Thwaites
&
Victorian Minister for Agriculture
Bob Cameron

18 March 2004

A more sustainable future for Victoria's Goulburn Broken


The Goulburn Broken region of Victoria can look forward to a more sustainable future with a $12 million investment in salinity control, water quality and biodiversity projects by the Australian and Victorian Governments.

Warren Truss, Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, announced the investment today at Kuluba West, Seymour, following joint approval of the funding with Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, Victorian Minister for Environment and Water, John Thwaites and Victorian Minister for Agriculture, Bob Cameron.

The funding includes $11.4 million from the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality, a joint Australian and State Government initiative, and $860,000 from the Australian Government's Natural Heritage Trust.

Mr Truss said the funding is based on the Regional Catchment Strategy, which combines an understanding of regional assets and needs, with the community's vision of how to nurture the environment while allowing agriculture and other industries to prosper.

“The Regional Catchment Strategy has been used to develop a comprehensive package of activities with multiple benefits for plants and animals, farms, waterways and wetlands” Mr Truss said.

“Activities will combat dryland and irrigation salinity in the Goulburn Broken. These works include planting 100 hectares of private forests, and construction of more than 45 kilometres of drains to manage saline surface water in the Shepparton Irrigation Region.”

Dr Kemp said funding will see action under nine recovery plans for threatened species, including the Regent Honeyeater, Superb Parrot and Grassy Whitebox Woodlands.

“For example 102 hectares of remnant native vegetation that is habitat for the Grey Crowned Babbler will be protected with fencing. Another 120 hectares will be replanted with native vegetation in the area from Nathalia to Barmah to improve the habitat for the Superb Parrot,” Dr Kemp said.

Mr Thwaites said the investments would protect the unique and irreplaceable values of the native vegetation in the Goulburn Broken catchment area.

“The region has some rare plants and animals, but many, like the Trout Cod, are under threat as significant reaches of streams have been degraded,” Mr Thwaites said.

“This investment will protect and restore rivers and streams by fencing, replanting banks, weed control and establishing watering points for stock away from streams.”

Mr Truss said the sustainability of the region's primary production would receive a significant boost.

“Funding will be used to develop best practice farming systems, such as retaining vegetation and using better cropping techniques, to reduce the threat of salinity and soil erosion,” Mr Truss said.

Mr Cameron said agriculture is critical to the long term future of the region, contributing more than $1 billion to the regional economy each year and supporting about 200,000 people.

For information on the National Action Plan on Salinity and Water Quality visit www.napswq.gov.au , and for the Natural Heritage Trust visit www.nht.gov.au .

Information on the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority is available at www.gbcma.vic.gov.au .



Natural Heritage Trust and National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality 2003-04 investments in the Goulburn Broken region
ACTIVITIES NHT FUNDS NAP FUNDS
1. Mid Goulburn Broken Program
Vegetation Management $ 325,000 $ 378,000
Catchment Planning & Investment   $ 216,000
Salinity & Soils   $ 833,000
Sustainable Irrigation   $57,000
River Health   $320,000
  $325,000 $ 1,804,000
2. Shepparton Irrigation Region Program
Vegetation Management $50,000
Sustainable Irrigation $64,500 $ 5,916,000
River Health   $624,000
$ 114,500 $ 6,540,000
3. Upper Goulburn Program
Vegetation Management $ 83,000 $124,000
Catchment Planning & Investment $176,400 $302,000
Salinity & Soils $ 769,000
Sustainable Irrigation $57,000
River Health   $428,000
$ 259,400 $ 1,680,000
4. Catchment Wide Program
Vegetation Management $163,000 $ 520,000
Catchment Planning & Investment $580,000
River Health   $290,000
$163,000 $1,390,000
   
All Programs Total $861,900 $11,414,000
Commonwealth of Australia