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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

7 May 1999

TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES


Time is running out for Victorians to apply for a share of the $600,000 in funding available to help protect and conserve the State's rare and endangered plants and animals, Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, said today.

Mrs Stone said the Threatened Species Network Community Grants Scheme was being funded jointly through the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust and the World Wide Fund for Nature Australia (WWF).

Applications close on Tuesday 29 June, 1999, with project work due to commence in September.

"Feral animals, noxious weeds, grazing, agricultural and industrial development and urban encroachment have had a devastating effect on our fragile native flora and fauna," Sharman Stone said.

"Since European settlement commenced in Victoria, 60 native species have been lost to us forever, and a further 600 plants and 250 animals are under threat."

"Precious plants and wildlife such as the Helmeted Honeyeater, our state bird, the Mountain Pygmy Possum, Charming Spider Orchid and Barred Galaxias are critically endangered, with only a handful of each still surviving in the wild."

"We are calling on the community to help. With a 'working partnership' between the community and Government, we can perhaps see Victoria's endangered native plants and animals flourish in their natural habitats again," Mrs Stone said.

Community groups, indigenous organisations, local councils, clubs, schools and universities are all welcome to apply.

Funding is available for such conservation activities as:

"The Federal Government has also contracted a group of 'experts' to help develop-up proposals, provide information and support and generally assist community groups to access funds," Sharman Stone said.

"This group includes the Victorian Threatened Species Network Coordinator, Felicity Faris, who can be contacted by telephone (03) 9650 8296 or email tsnvic@ozemail.com.au."

Copies of the Threatened Species Network Community Grants 1999-2000 Application Guidelines can be obtained by telephoning the Natural Heritage Trust Hotline on freecall 1800 065 823, on the Internet at http://www.nht.gov.au/funds.htm, or by contacting your local Federal Member.

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

Commonwealth of Australia