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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 3099..


MR PRATT (continuing):

evacuation plans identified across the ACT for all high-risk areas, be they town centres, iconic targets, federal targets, where ACT residences may be collateral damage, or the city centre itself. When is this government going to brief the community on what they have got in mind? I am not talking about the detail, the secret detail. Where is the outline concept?

MR SPEAKER: The member's time has expired.

Environmental grants

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.09): I rise tonight in the adjournment debate to provide members with information on the environmental grants that I was privileged to announce yesterday, on behalf of the Chief Minister, at Kaleen High School.

The environmental grants are funded annually by the ACT government to assist the community to participate in worthwhile environmental projects. This year the ACT government refined the grants program to encourage a broader range of community-based projects that complement the government's own environmental priorities, particularly in relation to the Canberra plan's strategic theme-living with the environment: our bush capital. This addresses our relationship with the environment in terms of resource use, nature conservation and opportunities for sustainable environmental interaction.

The community's role in conserving and enhancing our local environment is absolutely fundamental. Twenty-seven applications for funding were received for the ACT environment grants. This is a strong response and a good indication of the ACT community's commitment to our environment. Of the 27 applications received, the government is pleased to support 11 of the projects. Three of the grants go to schools, at a total of more than $113,000.

A broad range of applications was received that complement the government's priorities for community engagement in implementing nature conservation strategies and action plans; complementing ACT government and community events; delivering walks, talks and activities and environmental subjects; involving the local Aboriginal community in local environmental initiatives; encouraging the wise use of resources and reducing environmental impacts and having a positive and desirable effect on the environment.

As I said, there were 11 successful applicants. The Canberra Ornithologists Group will undertake the ACT grassy woodland bird monitoring project. This project will monitor threatened bird species abundance and distribution in grassy woodlands at 135 monitoring points. The Australian Capital Territory 2005 National Water Week community frogwatch program, which will be conducted by the Ginninderra Catchment Group Inc, will involve 200 volunteers monitoring frog habitat and breeding sites across the ACT and region.

The Australian Network for Plant Conservation Inc will undertake a project facilitating community involvement in the conservation and rehabilitation of native grassy ecosystems. This project will focus on building community skills in conservation and rehabilitation of natural temperate grasslands and yellow box/red gum grassy woodlands.


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