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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

The Hon Tony Burke MP
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Rudd Government congratulates local groups on continuing bushfire recovery work

Joint media release
4 June 2009

The Rudd Government has acknowledged the efforts of local natural resource management, farming and community groups in Victoria, as they continue with painstaking fire rehabilitation work.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke and Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett today announced the Government had allocated funding to help continue the important local work.

More than $10 million has been allocated to six Catchment Management Authorities, as part of a package announced in March to help landholders, community and non-government organisations in areas affected by the Black Saturday bushfires, the West Gippsland fire in late January and the Wilsons Promontory fire in February.

The funding will be used for projects such as:

Mr Burke said the work of the North East CMA and its partners, including farmers and other local community members, was a good example of the progress underway.

“This environmental work is a vital part of rebuilding the local economy, including helping local farmers get back on their feet,” Mr Burke said.

“Major industries in this region including beef cattle and dairying were badly affected by the fires, as well as some berry and green tea production.

“In other areas, industries such as aquaculture have also been affected.

“Repairing damage to local waterways, fencing sensitive areas and planting vegetation will help both the environment and the regional economy recover.”

Mr Garrett encouraged landholders in fire-affected regions to contact their local Catchment Management Authority to discuss specific projects.

“Tomorrow is World Environment Day and it’s important to recognise the great environmental work going on at a local level in these communities,” Mr Garrett said.

“These groups in fire-devastated areas have valuable local expertise which helps them to identify priorities in their regions.

“Regenerating native vegetation and re-establishing fencing to protect sensitive environmental areas will be important for local biodiversity.”

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