Page 3364 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 18 September 2013

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That is part of the package of reform that has started now through respite services.


DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. Minister, it is well known that Canberrans are passionate about their environment. Can you advise the Assembly as to some of the ways the government supports this grassroots enthusiasm for environmental protection?

MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for the question. The ACT government has been providing financial assistance for community-based environmental projects every year since 1997. As we move into our second century, the government will continue to provide support to all those wonderful volunteers in our community who do an enormous body of work to help maintain, protect and restore the territory’s natural environment.

This year around $170,000 worth of grants has been allocated to community groups that help protect our environment, and each project has an upper limit of funding of approximately $50,000. Since I have become minister I have given priority to projects that support strong, on-the-ground outcomes in environmental conservation, as well as stimulating on-ground works or actions and engaging the community in developing issues and solutions.

Earlier this month I announced $176,000 in grants to six successful applicants, allowing six important, on-the-ground projects to proceed. Amongst the recipients this year were Greening Australia Capital Region for a project which involves a world first in relocation of the endangered plant the Ginninderra peppercress, to prevent its extinction and increase its population in the Canberra environment. Greening Australia were also successful in gaining funding for another important project, to establish groundcover species to assist in the restoration of our beautiful native grasslands and provide habitat linkages for flora and fauna.

I was also pleased to see that the community group Friends of Grasslands were successful in receiving funding for the project to restore grassy ecosystems in key portions of Scrivener’s hut, Stirling Park and Yarramundi Reach in central Canberra. These areas have large remnants of native grassy woodlands and temperate grassland communities and are listed as endangered. The Friends of Grasslands are a great group of individuals banding together to help protect these valuable ecosystems.

The Molonglo Catchment Group has been granted over $43,000 to revegetate areas in the lower Molonglo nature reserve. They will work closely with the Parks and Conservation Service to assist with the next steps required after an extensive woody weed removal program, and revegetating these areas will help protect the slopes from erosion and, in turn, help improve water quality in the Molonglo River.

The Ginninderra Catchment Group has received $24,000 for its frog watch ephemeral zone project, and this project targets water bodies, especially dams, ponds and urban waterways, to improve the aquatic environment and, in particular, will focus on bank

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