The Member for Page, Janelle Saffin, has welcomed the announcement of more than $10.7 million in the Rudd Government’s Caring For Our Country funding for the Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority.

Minister for Environment, Peter Garrett, and Minister for Agriculture, Fishers and Forestry Tony Burke have announced a total of $403 million through Caring For Our Country for environmental and sustainable projects across Australia.

Ms Saffin said local projects will play an important role in protecting our natural resources – our farming land, water, plants and animals.

“The Northern Rivers CMA’s funding includes more than $7 million for projects protecting biodiversity, natural icons, and coastal environments and promoting sustainable farm practices and community environmental protection skills,” she said.

“As well, the Northern Rivers CMA is to receive more than $3.45 million for its project to increase the engagement of coastal communities in protecting the New South Wales coastline – one of 57 significant projects across Australia to be funded under Caring For Country.”

General Manager of Northern Rivers CMA, Michael Pitt, says it was great to be successful in such a competitive process, with only six successful projects announced in NSW.

“We will devolve funding to local community groups such as Landcare and Coastcare for coastal rehabilitation, restoration and conservation projects and we will also be establishing partnerships with coastal Indigenous communities,” Mr Pitt said.

Ms Saffin said the NSW Sugar Milling Co-op was another successful local organisation to be funded  for a significant project. The Co-op has been granted $54,500 for a project to bank soil carbon to reduce fertilizer application in the NSW sugar industry.

“It’s great to see local organisations being funded for their forward-thinking projects aimed at addressing  the environmental challenges of today,” she said.

“Around Australia Caring For Country is supporting 56 regional organisations, more than 1200 community groups, more than 12000 landholders and 57 significant projects.

“Caring For Country has set ambitious targets and includes a clear list of national priorities to help achieve the maximum results, and our local resource management bodies and community groups, scientists and others will be playing their part in achieving those results.”