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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Australian Government Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Hon Peter McGauran MP

20 March 2006

A better national picture of native vegetation

The condition of Australia's native vegetation and natural resources currently being assessed by the Natural Land and Water Resources Audit will continue to be closely monitored after the Australian Government announced a further $7.5 million funding for ongoing evaluation.

The National Land and Water Resources Audit is a Natural Heritage Trust programme designed to coordinate natural resource information across Australia. It evaluates the extent and condition of natural resources such as soils, land use, wetlands and coastal areas.

The extended funding to June 2008 was announced today by the Australian Ministers for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, and the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell.

Mr McGauran said the Audit provides data, information and nationwide assessments of Australia's land, water and biological resources to support sustainable development.

"The additional funding in 2007-08 will help us decide Australia's natural resource management priorities and evaluate current and future natural resource management investments," Mr McGauran said.

"The National Land and Water Resources Audit worked with the Australian Government and all states and territories to develop systems to monitor resource condition," he said.

Senator Campbell said the extended funding would allow the Audit to collect more information on native vegetation and other natural resource areas.

"If we are to maintain Australia's productive capacity and protect our unique landscapes, we need to build an enduring system of resource condition reporting and feeding the information into natural resource management decisions. This requires long-term commitments from governments," Senator Campbell said.

"The extra year and additional resources for the Audit, will allow us to continue to build the partnerships needed for a national view of vegetation extent and condition," he said.

The Audit will receive the extended Australian Government funding through the Natural Heritage Trust over the period 2006-07 and 2007-08.

For further information visit the Audit's website:

Media Contact:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
Russ Neal (Minister McGauran) 0413 6013

Commonwealth of Australia