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

$1.7 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR ENVIRONMENT GROUPS


Eleven additional groups of environment volunteers have won a share of almost $1.7 million in grants from the Federal Government.

The Grants to Voluntary Conservation Organisations (GVCO) program will deliver $1.65 million to 75 environment groups across Australia to assist them with their administrative costs.

Federal Environment Minister Robert hill says the grants deliver on an election commitment by the Government to continue supporting voluntary conservation organisations.

Senator Hill says a larger number of environment groups are lining up for funds and the Government had been able to assist them.

"Despite the financial constraints faced by the government on coming to office in 1996, we have been able to maintain the GVCO program as promised.

"We are also faced, however, with increasing demand for assistance. This year we have been able to provide funding to 11 additional organisations to ensure that more of the community can be involved in their environmental activities. This will help maximise the benefit to the natural environment of the GVCO Program."

Among the first time recipients of GVCO funds is the Australian Bush Heritage Fund which purchases and protects private land of environmental significance and has received a $14,000 grant.

The Australian Association for Environmental Education is also being supported for the first time with a grant of $10,000 to assist with the important work of promoting and supporting environmental education.

Other first time recipients are:
Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants $5,000
Australian Coral Reef Society $4,000
The Foster Foundation $5,000
The Society for Responsible Design $7,000
The Dolphin Research Institute (Victoria) $5,000
Urban Bushland Council (WA) $4,000
Wetlands and Wildlife (SA) $7,000
ACT for Trees $4,000
West Australian Gould League $3,500

The program provides support to a range of groups across Australia including Environment Victoria ($103,000), Queensland Conservation Council ($108,000), Nature Conservation Council of NSW ($94,500),Conservation Council of SA ($95,000), Conservation Council of WA ($80,000), World Wide Fund for Nature ($82,000), Environment Centre NT ($60,000), and the Tasmanian Conservation Trust ($45,000).

The funding also supports high profile national organisations such as Keep Australia Beautiful ($70,500), Clean Up Australia ($20,000) and the Humane Society International ($24,000).

Senator Hill says to accommodate the new groups and to maximise the benefit to the natural environment, there have been fluctuations in the existing level of support given to groups already receiving funding from the program.

"In any year there will be fluctuations both up and down in the grants received by various groups."

"For example, Trees for Life, a group responsible for planting more than 16 million trees in South Australia, will receive an additional $8,000 in support this year."

A list of funded organisations is attached.

Media contact - Matt Brown on 0419 693 515

Commonwealth of Australia