08/01/2009 - 15:28

State commits $6m to protect environment

08/01/2009 - 15:28

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An injection of $6 million to protect and care for the Western Australian environment has been unveiled by the state government today.

State commits $6m to protect environment

An injection of $6 million to protect and care for the Western Australian environment has been unveiled by the state government today.

Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman said the State's natural resources supported a number of important industries, which contributed significantly to the State's economy.

"The agricultural, forestry and fishing industries are all underpinned by a healthy and thriving environment," Mr Redman said.

"Of the total figure, $1.5million will provide support for the ongoing operation of the six regional community Natural Resource Management (NRM) groups. Another $1million will support the operation of the State NRM office, the State-wide co-ordination of Aboriginal engagement in NRM and a review the State's NRM arrangements.

"A further $3.5million is available for immediate, high priority projects, subject to appropriate business cases being submitted. These could for example, include projects to address salinity, control invasive weeds or protect threatened species.

"It is important that we continue the partnership between the community and the State Government to support this valuable and essential work.

"To this end, additional funding of up to $15million has been identified for projects addressing the State's natural resource priorities in 2009. These projects will require full business cases, including scientific evidence and a cost benefit analysis,"

Environment Minister Donna Faragher said the funding ensured the State's NRM activities to protect the environment could continue.

"WA's natural assets are recognised internationally for their rare biodiversity, particularly the South-West, which is recognised as one of the world's 25 biodiversity hotspots," Mrs Faragher said.

Mr Redman said part of the new funding would also be used to review how NRM is delivered across the State.

"The Federal Government has changed its funding model, and the new Caring for Our Country program has largely abandoned the existing regional delivery model," he said.

"It is therefore timely and appropriate to review the way we protect and care for the environment to ensure the best possible arrangements are in place to enhance WA's natural assets."

"The review will be headed by Garry English, a former Esperance farmer, past South Coast NRM group chair and winner of the national McKell Medal for excellence and achievement in NRM.

"It will also include Craig Warner from Department of Treasury and Finance and David Hartley representing the State NRM Agencies. The review team will report to my office by the end of February."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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