Government support for community-led environmental projects

Communities across Australia will benefit from Morrison Government funding for community-led projects delivering practical environmental outcomes.

More than 900 local environment projects have already been funded through the $22.65 million Communities Environment Program, with more successful grant recipients expected in coming months.

Up to $150,000 was made available to each federal electorate during the 2019-20 financial year.

Applicants could apply for grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 per project, with each electorate eligible for up to 20 community-led projects that address local environmental priorities in their jurisdiction.

Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, said that the Government was pleased to see such strong community interest in the program.

“People want to play a role in helping our environment and it is fantastic to see such a wide range of not-for-profit community organisations, schools and local governing bodies engaged in identifying local priorities and opportunities,” Ms Ley said.

“Many are being encouraged to get involved for the first time in delivering small grant projects in particular and we are also seeing how a number of individual projects can help address wider issues.

“There are 29 projects, for instance, across Queensland and New South Wales that will contribute to supporting koalas through monitoring, habitat restoration and educational activities.”

Other examples of the environmental projects being funded under the program, include:

  • Armadale Gosnells Landcare Group Inc – Camillo Turtle Habitat Restoration Project ($19,050) which will restore and revegetate threatened turtle habitat, increase turtle survival rates and raise community awareness within the Champions Lakes-Camillo area.
  • Burpengary State School – Creating a Butterfly Breeding Space ($16,500) which will create a safe environment for breeding and release of endangered butterflies, raise community awareness, and will be complemented by planting of native flora.
  • Native Fish Australia – Schools Project to Restore Native Fish Species ($20,000) which will involve local school children in the breeding and re- introduction of the threatened native Pygmy Perch back into local waterways to help re-establish native populations.
  • The Black Cockatoo Preservation Society of Australia – Kaarakin Site Rehabilitation for Black Cockatoos project ($19,000) that will rehabilitate the Kaarakin site by planting 2,000 seedlings that will also provide a future food source for Carnaby’s Cockatoos and other threatened Black Cockatoo species.

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans, welcomed the significant proportion of excellent waste reduction and recycling initiatives receiving funding.

“The Morrison Government is strongly committed to increasing our recycling rates, turning our waste back into valuable products and encouraging innovation, so that resources are not lost to landfill,” Mr Evans said.

“It’s great to see that this commitment is shared by many in our communities, judging by the amount of applications seeking funding to deliver waste reduction, recycling and litter clean-up activities.”

Examples of waste reduction and recycling projects that have been granted funding, to date, include:

  • Oz Fish Unlimited Limited – Shellfish Reef Restoration in Pumicestone Passage project ($20,000), that will clean large volumes of used oyster shells so they can be used to recreate lost shellfish reefs within the Pumicestone Passage in Queensland and support habitat restoration
  • Aberfoyle Community Centre Inc – Community Recycling Station ($2,500) that will create a community recycling station for light globes, batteries and other items to be dropped off, encouraging re-use and recycling within the local community and reducing the impact of waste and litter.

“I am very pleased at range of community organisations represented among those receiving funding for their projects,” Mr Evans said.

“The involvement of federal local members in nominating projects for funding was a new approach towards providing small grants for environment projects.”

Funded projects will complement the Australian Government’s other natural resource management programs, including the National Landcare Program, the Environment Restoration Fund and waste and recycling initiatives.

Information about the program can be found at www.environment.gov.au/cep and successful grants are being progressively published on GrantConnect (www.grants.gov.au).

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