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

1 June 1999

VICTORIANS WIN ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS


Victoria's Superb Parrot Project was recognised as Australia's best, winning at the prestigious Banksia Environment Awards in Melbourne on Saturday Night. They were awarded top honours for best Community Group for their efforts to protect Victoria's endangered Superb Parrot.

Also honoured on the night for their contribution to the environment were Victor Hurley of the Victorian Peregrine Project, winning the Flora and Fauna Award, and Andrew McLennan, winning the Land and Waterways Management category.

Federal Member for Murray, Sharman Stone MP, key note speaker at the National Awards, was on hand to congratulate the winners whose work to revegetate Superb Parrot habitat, protect Peregrine Falcons and replant critically low numbers of Banksia Trees is helping to restore and preserve Victoria's unique biodiversity.

Ministers for the Environment from South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory also attended to present awards.

"Congratulations to all those who have volunteered their time, effort and resources to these innovative. community projects. They are worthy winners of this year's Banksia Environmental Awards," Mrs Stone said.

In total, 18 of the 43 finalists competing in the awards were from Victoria, the highest representation of any state.

Mrs Stone said the Banksia Environmental Awards recognised the leadership and contribution of those of those within the private sector and the community who had made an outstanding contribution to the environment.

"Recognising and celebrating the achievements of the Superb Parrot Project, the Peregrine Project and Andrew McLennan helps to benchmark 'ecologically friendly' standards for others in Victoria, and Australia, to follow," Mrs Stone said.

The Superb Parrot Project is funded jointly through the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust, Greening Australia and commercial sponsors. Through the Trust, the Federal Government has contributed over $110,000 in funding to help revegetate and enhance the habitat of the Superb Parrot.

This year the group will plant over 15,000 native trees, fence 20 hectares of grassy woodlands, fence and revegetate 10 kilometres of degraded natural drainage area and undertake a Superb Parrot awareness campaign in schools and clubs throughout the local community.

The Superb Parrot Project is supported by 30 farming families from the Picola and Barmah areas. Box Tree habitat in particular is being protected.

"Through the $1.25 million Natural Heritage Trust we are helping to regenerate, restore and protect the environment by working on local projects in backyards and parkland where we can make a lasting difference."

"The Superb Parrot Project, the Peregrine Project and Andrew McLennan's community efforts now stand alongside past winners such as Ian Keirnan for his Clean Up Australia campaign, and last year's gold award winner Bonlac Foods Ltd.

"Victoria has a proud tradition of environmental management, conservation and sustainable development. The community groups who selflessly dig deep year after year deserve a pat on the back for a job well done," Mrs Stone said.

For further information please contact:
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415

Commonwealth of Australia