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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

Environment groups share benefits of Government grants

15 January 1997

The Federal Government has delivered on an election commitment to the environment movement by maintaining the Grants to Voluntary Conservation Organisations Program (GVCO).

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has announced grants totalling $1,688,150 to environment-focused community groups Australia-wide under the GVCO program.

The GVCO Program supports conservation organisations by providing funding for administrative costs, rather than specific projects, making it different from most other funding programs.

Senator Hill says six new groups, including the high-profile Clean- Up Australia campaign, will benefit from this year's funding allocation.

The new groups to receive funding are:

Senator Hill says the grants recognise the important role played by voluntary environment organisations.

"The organisations being funded this year are diverse in their interests and their make up, illustrating the range of issues that are of importance to members of the community.

"The distribution of the grants reflects the diverse environmental interests of the community."

Senator Hill says the Government's $1.1 billion Natural Heritage Trust will seek to build on community interest in the environment.

"The programs of the Natural Heritage Trust will tap in to the commitment and enthusiasm of the community.

"Legislation to establish the Trust should be passed by the Parliament in the first session of this year. We can then provide even greater support to the community as we work together to repair and restore our natural environment."

A list of the Grants under the Voluntary Conservation Organisations Program (1996- 97) is attached.

Media contact:
Matt Brown, 06 277 7640; 0419 693 515



Commonwealth of Australia