Government announces $22 million in community environment grants

The Federal Government has announced an $22 million funding package for the delivery of small scale environmental projects for local communities.

The Communities Environment Program will provide up to $150,000 for each Federal electorate over 2019-20.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new initiative will better target the needs of individual communities.

“Locals know best and we will support and encourage projects such as revegetating riverbanks and wetlands, removing weeds from parks and reserves or restoring sand dunes on our coasts,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Morrison said a ‘broad range’ of community organisations will be eligible for grant funding, including community clubs like Lions Clubs and Rotary Clubs, Indigenous organisations, Landcare groups, schools, and other community and conservation groups.

The announcement drew sharp criticism from the Australian Conservation Fund (ACF), which described the funding as a ‘modest commitment’ that looked more like pork barrelling than a serious move to fund environmental projects.

“This modest announcement will provide short-term help to underfunded community groups but is nothing like the investment our natural world needs to halt Australia’s shocking extinction crisis,” said Basha Stasak, ACF’s Nature Campaign Manager.

“Australia has one of the world’s worst extinction records – just weeks ago another mammal, the Bramble Cay melomys, was formally declared as gone forever.”

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