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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
&
Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation
Senator the Hon. Ian Macdonald

9 December 2005

Envirofund boosts Victoria’s drought recovery


Communities in drought-affected areas in Victoria are being helped to rebuild their land and their lives with more than $1.5 million from the Australian Government’s Envirofund.

Details of successful applications for the 2005 Drought Recovery Envirofund were announced today by the Australian Government Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald.

"Much of Victoria may now be green after the rain, but the corrosive effect of the drought remains," Senator Campbell said.

"This funding for 76 community-based projects in Victoria will help people recover from the drought and manage their land to reduce the impacts of future dry spells.

"We received an unprecedented demand for grants from across the country and in response, doubled the funding originally set aside from $10 million to $20 million. This means that we have been able to approve 1,145 applications nationally."

Senator Macdonald said that funding would go to a number of innovative Victorian projects. "These include a sustainable water use project near Kerang, which involves decommissioning three dams to reduce water wastage and seepage," he said. "Near Wangaratta fencing will be erected to help rehabilitate a red gum wetland, and a project at Yackandandah will include installing 120 nesting boxes for species including the Brush-tailed Phasogale and the endangered Squirrel Glider.

"Fencing to protect remnant vegetation and fragile waterways and providing alternative stock watering points and in some cases feedlot areas is a feature of a number of projects."

Envirofund is the community-focused component of the Australian Government’s $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust.

The next standard Envirofund round will open in February 2006.

Some examples of Victorian projects are attached.

For details of all projects go to http://www.nht.gov.au/envirofund/

Media contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Minister Campbell) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
David Crisafulli (Minister Macdonald) 07 4771 3066 or 0400 144 483


Round 7 Australian Government Envirofund

Victoria project examples

Temporary Feedlot Sheep Containment for Protecting Soils and Remnant Vegetation $1,909

This project will construct a temporary feedlot near Boort, as well as a 600m fence to exclude stock from remnant vegetation and plant 300 native trees, shrubs and grasses. Existing trees in the feedlot area will provide shade and be protected from stock by tree guards.

Sustainable Water Use $28,100

This project will protect, restore and improve native vegetation on frontage and adjoining farmland along the channel on the eastern side of Lake Elizabeth near Kerang by decommissioning three dams and installing ten troughs to reduce water wastage and seepage causing salinity problems.

Myers Creek Protection and Providing Off Stream Watering Points $36,500

This project will build on work completed in 2000 by the North Central Landcare Group by fencing off another 5.75km of Myers Creek near Raywood to exclude stock and protect riparian vegetation. It will also establish 13 off-stream watering points.

Red Gum Wetland Rehabilitation $38,325

This project will rehabilitate 13ha of red gum wetland near Wangaratta by constructing 3.153km of protective fencing and planting 1,500 trees and shrubs to create wildlife habitat corridors. The area will be permanently protected under a Conservation Covenant with the Trust for Nature (Victoria). The project will also rehabilitate an existing bore and provide four alternative stock watering points.

Stock Containment / Feedlot Area $3,591

This project will fence off an area of approximately 2ha near Nandaly in north western Victoria to establish a temporary feedlot equipped with 2 watering points. The perimeter of the area will be planted with 200 local trees.

Water Quality and Threatened Arboreal Mammal Nest Box Program $41,818

This project will exclude stock from waterways and areas of remnant vegetation near Yackandandah in north east Victoria by constructing 4.634km of fencing and installing 25 alternative stock watering points. It will also install 120 nest boxes for species such as the Brush-tailed Phascogale and the endangered Squirrel Glider.

Improving Stock Watering Points $1,832

This project will erect 350m of fencing at Windomal near Redesdale to exclude stock from dams and native vegetation. Four troughs will be installed and two small dams decommissioned.

Wallan Creek Aquatic and Riparian Weed Control Project $24,783

This project will remove invasive vegetation and plant 4,000 native seedlings on 700m of creek frontage. An expert weed identification contractor will conduct weed identification training for the volunteer Friends of Wallan Creek. The project will also protect and maintain plantings from a previous Envirofund project.

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