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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage

17 May 2000

Darwin Bushcare Project Promotes Practical Reconciliation

Repairing the landscape, promoting indigenous education, training and health care are just some of the goals of one of Darwin's leading urban Bushcare projects, according to Dr Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage.

"I'm delighted to be in Darwin to meet with indigenous and community land managers and particularly, to see first-hand the work being done as part of the Caring for Larrakia Country Project," Dr Stone said.

"The project, combining indigenous land management and community development initiatives, is a marvellous example of practical reconciliation in action."

This year the Larrakia National Aboriginal Corporation received $67,600 in funding from the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust to repair and revegetate Larrakia lands and support local conservation efforts around Darwin.

Dr Stone said one of the most innovative elements of the project was the establishment of a native nursery and bush tucker garden on the grounds of Royal Darwin Hospital.

"The project aims to provide bush tucker foods for Aboriginal patients, construct and stock a nursery of locally sourced native plants for urban revegetation works and establish educational 'bush tucker' trails for school students and the wider community."

The Caring for Larrakia Country Project includes funding from the Government's Community Development and Employment Program (CDEP) to provide accredited training and on-site work experience for Larrakia young people in land management and environmental education.

"The Larrakia bush tucker nursery and garden will be a valuable environmental and community resource for many years to come," Sharman Stone said.

"I want to congratulate the Caring for Larrakia Country Project partners including Greening Australia, the Northern Territory Government Health Service and all those community volunteers who have made this innovative project possible."

This year the Northern Territory received a record $7 million in funding for 128 projects promoting conservation and sustainable agriculture from the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust.

Dr Stone's visit to the Caring for Larrakia Country Project is part of a three-day trip to the Northern Territory to discuss land management techniques with government, environment and community representatives in Darwin and remote indigenous communities.

Other NHT project visits include Greening Australia's Bushcare Support Office, The Duke Street Rainforest Project, the Window on the Wetlands Project in Litchfield Shire and the NT Parks and Wildlife Bio-regional Assessment Unit.

Media Inquiries
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415
17 May 2000

Commonwealth of Australia