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National Media Release
Mr Peter Lindsay, MP
Federal Member for Herbert
Dr Sharman Stone, MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the
Environment and Heritage

17 November 1999

NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST ONE-STOP-SHOP OPEN FOR BUSINESS


Applications for Natural Heritage Trust funding are now being called for the new millennium, with community based projects sought to help rehabilitate and protect Townsville's natural resources.

Dr Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, and Federal Member for Herbert, Mr Peter Lindsay MP, announced the call for 2000-2001 NHT applications in Townsville today, while visiting with local community and environmental groups.

"Through the Natural Heritage Trust more money than ever before will be available to community and environmental groups, schools, local councils and individuals to help rehabilitate and restore Townsville's natural resources and to invest in innovative sustainable agriculture," Sharman Stone said.

"This year the application guide includes more advice on how to fill out the application form and contacts for local facilitators who will help groups develop projects and apply for funding."

"I urge any local groups considering whether to apply to get in contact with their local facilitator first. They will be a valuable source of support and advice and will help make the application process clearer and hassle-free," Shaman Stone said.

Advertisements will be placed in national and regional weekend newspapers to alert community groups to the availability of funding and encourage them to apply.

The Federal Government's $1.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust is the single largest investment in Australia's natural environment. More than 3,500 community groups across Australia have received funding through the Trust's One-Stop-Shop to date.

"Townsville's community groups are already hard at work with this year's grants, but now is the time to start planning for the year ahead," Mr Lindsay said.

"Projects of all sizes and types, in the city, suburbs and bush fringe are welcome. No project or group is too small to apply."

Mr Lindsay said groups like the Townsville District Pony Club, Palm Island Landcare Group and Townsville City Council were all working on local projects with the help of NHT funding.

"This year Townsville received over $160,000 for 8 new projects as diverse as a bush tucker and bush medicine project, rehabilitation of Serpentine Lagoon and planting and rehabilitating native trees in the suburbs."

"Our unique marine environment and coastline hasn't missed out either with Coastcare and Coast and Cleans Seas funding of over $110,000 announced earlier in the year," he said.

In 2000-2001 more than $300 million will be available nationally for Bushcare, Landcare, Rivercare, wetland rehabilitation, endangered species protection, farm forestry, restocking native fish populations, weed control and establishing new national parks and reserves.

Applications close on 25 February 2000. Further information is available from Peter Lindsay's office on telephone 4725 2066 or from the NHT freecall hotline 1800 065 823 and website at www.nht.gov.au.

Media Inquiries:
Nicole Johnston, Dr Stone's Office, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415
Greg Doolan, Mr Lindsay's Office, 07 4725 2066

Commonwealth of Australia