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Gillard Government Supports Groups to Protect Australia's Natural Resources

23 April 2013

AUSTRALIA - Regional Natural Resource Management organisations (NRMs) will share in A$669 million to continue their work to enhance and maintain Australia’s biodiversity and environment over the next five years.

Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke, and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, said funding would be made available to Australia’s 54 regional NRM organisations through the Government’s Caring for our Country program.

The organisations play an important role in building an environment that is healthier, better protected, well managed and resilient and ensuring our farming practices are sustainable.

“These groups have extraordinary local knowledge. They are about making sure the expertise that exists within catchments becomes part of every step of environmental management,” Mr Burke said.

“This goes right to the heart of the environmental need to act locally.

“This funding will help support the important work in regional level natural resource management, planning and prioritisation and brokering partnerships.

“Funding will support the development of, and access to, knowledge and skills to deliver on-ground activities in regional communities.”

Minister Ludwig said regional NRM organisations would remain a key focus of Caring for our Country in phase two of the program.

“This funding means NRMs can continue to carry out their work and make a real difference to our agricultural landscape and environment,” Minister Ludwig said.

“Regional NRM organisations have the skills and experience to engage their local communities, and their grass roots efforts are something this Government will continue to support.

“That is why this Regional Delivery funding will include support for Regional Landcare Facilitators.

“Like us, NRMs recognise healthy, productive and resilient land is important for sustainable food and fibre production and the future of rural and regional communities.”

During the consultation and review of the Caring for our Country initiative, many regional NRM organisations said the multi-year funding allocation allowed better planning over longer timeframes and had supported organisational development, capacity building and relationship and partnership building.

“To help provide greater certainty, Caring for our Country will continue to provide funding over the five years of the program. This ensures that regional NRM organisations are able to plan for the future,” Mr Burke said.

“We encourage regional NRM organisations to apply for additional funding for activities which will deliver on-ground outcomes for Caring for our Country’s Sustainable Environment and Sustainable Agriculture streams.”

The second phase of Caring for our Country will be focused under complementary Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable Environment streams to encourage greater efficiency and a more focussed delivery of the priorities within the government’s broader sustainability agenda.

Regional delivery will be administered by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

TheCropSite News Desk

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