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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

31 May 1999

COMMUNITY GROUP WINS ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD


The local 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.

Federal Member for Murray, Sharman Stone MP, key note speaker at the National Awards, was on hand to congratulate the community-based group whose work to revegetate Superb Parrot habitat is helping to increase numbers in the wild.

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 in this marvellous local project. They are worthy winners of this important environmental award," Mrs Stone said.

Three groups from the Murray electorate were represented among the finalists. They were the Superb Parrot, the Shepparton Irrigation Implementation Committee and the Barmah-Millewa Forum.

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

"Recognising and celebrating the achievements of the Superb Parrot Project and other local finalists helps to benchmark 'ecologically friendly' standards for others in the Murray-Goulburn Valley to follow," Mrs Stone said.

The Superb Parrot Project is supported by 30 farming families from the Picola and Barmah areas.

The 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.

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 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."

"I'm especially proud of the Goulburn-Murray Valley's tradition of lending a hand to help ensure our land and water resources can be enjoyed by this community, and future generations. It was great to see that the Murray electorate had more finalists than some states," Mrs Stone said.

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

Commonwealth of Australia