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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 Ian Macdonald

13 October 2005

Funding available to become weedbusters


Australian Environment Minister, Senator Ian Campbell, and Conservation Minister, Senator Ian Macdonald, have used national Weedbuster week to encourage people to submit applications under the new $40 million Defeating the Weed Menace programme.

Senator Campbell said the funding would be available for one to three-year projects that aim to reduce the damaging effect weeds have on the environment and agriculture.

"The projects will be funded at the national and regional levels. Those of a cross-regional nature must focus on delivering long-term benefits across a range of NRM regions," Senator Campbell said.

"Overall, the projects should focus on controlling Australia's most threatening weeds, particularly the Weeds of National Significance (WoNS), those on the National Environmental Alert List and the main so-called 'sleeper' weeds.

"The worst of these include lantana, rubber vine, serrated tussock, Mimosa pigra, parthenium weed, blackberry and bridal creeper.

"The projects will also need to be consistent with regional natural resource management plans and investment strategies, and be developed collaboratively with local organisations."

Senator Macdonald said the $40 million Defeating the Weed Menace programme is targeting Australia's most significant weeds where it matters - on the ground.

"Weeds are a significant cost to the economy, and pose one of the greatest threats to Australia's unique plants and animals," Senator Macdonald said.

"Although land management, including weeds, is the responsibility of the States and Territories, the Australian Government is providing national leadership in this important area.

"This is too big a problem for governments to leave to chance.

"Apart from their significant effects on our biodiversity, weeds cost Australian farmers about $4 billion a year in lost production and control measures."

The Defeating the Weed Menace Programme includes a research and development component which will be announced and managed separately.

Applications close 4 pm, 4 November 2005. Application forms and guidelines are available at: www.daff.gov.au/defeatingweeds. Further information is available by calling 1800 108 963 (free call) or emailing defeatingweeds@daff.gov.au

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

Commonwealth of Australia