A re-elected Turnbull Government will invest $500,000 in Ballarat as part of the Coalition’s Central Victoria Environment Plan, including $100,000 for community groups to install solar and battery storage systems, and approximately $400,000 for two new local Green Army projects.
This significant announcement is part of the Central Victorian Environment Plan, and the Coalition’s policy to support our local communities and environments by investing in parks, nature reserves, coastal and river areas.
The Green Army provides opportunities for young Australians aged 17-24 years to gain training and experience which will assist them in the future to find jobs, while generating real benefits for the local environment.
Two new Green Army projects in the electorate of Ballarat will conduct works in local areas including Ballarat, Bacchus Marsh, Hepburn Springs, Creswick, Clunes, Trentham and Bullarto to:
• Rejuvenate local creeks, rivers and waterways to improve water quality;
• Protect and enhance habitat areas of threatened species, including Powerful Owl; and
• Remove invasive species and replant with native species.
We will work with local government, local residents and community groups in the final design of the projects.
The Green Army programme not only benefits the environment, but also provides participants with skills and experience which will support them in finding jobs or further education.
A re-elected Turnbull Government will also help community groups in Central Victoria to lower their power bills and play their part in reducing Australia’s emissions by providing $100,000 for Ballarat organisations towards the cost of installing solar.
The Solar Communities program will provide funding for groups across Australia to install rooftop solar PV, solar hot water and battery storage systems for community owned buildings.
Community groups that will receive grants in the Ballarat region include:
• Miners Rest Country Fire Authority station ($15,000)
• Brace Ballarat ($15,000)
• Learmonth Country Fire Authority ($15,000)
• Cardigan and Windemere Country Fire Authority ($15,000)
• Creswick Country Fire Authority ($15,000)
Other community organisations such as churches, sporting clubs and scouts will also be able to apply for funding of up to $15,000.
Minister Hunt acknowledged the significant opportunity that exists to further promote the region’s extraordinary gold rush heritage.
We understand the value of our heritage and its importance to the local economy in terms of jobs and tourism.
Late last year I asked the State and Territory Environment Ministers to put forward their nominations for the World Heritage tentative list. The Victorian Government failed to put forward a nomination for the Goldfields.
We would welcome an approach from the Victorian Government on this matter in the future and note that any nomination for World Heritage listing cannot proceed without the support and backing of the State Government.
National Heritage Listing would be the first stage in any such process and I would encourage the Victorian Goldfields Tourism Executive to work with local governments, the National Trust and others to put forward National Heritage List nominations for key sites within the Central Victorian Goldfields region. I expect the call for nominations for the National Heritage List to be made later this year.
A re-elected Turnbull Government will maintain its strong commitment to Landcare, investing $2 million over the coming two years in the National Landcare Network.
This announcement gives the National Landcare Network much-needed ongoing support to co-ordinate their volunteer operations across Australia.
The Coalition has put Landcare back at the heart of natural resource management investing $1 billion over four years in the National Landcare Programme.
Instead of national Landcare priorities being set by Canberra, the National Landcare Programme instils a grass-roots process where communities work with their local natural resource management (NRM) groups to set priorities for their region.
Of the more than $450 million in funding that is supporting Australia’s 56 regional NRMs, more than $120 million is being made available to Landcare and other community groups for small projects.
To find out more about the Green Army visit: www.australia.gov.au/greenarmy
To find out more about the National Landcare Programme visit: http://www.nrm.gov.au/national-landcare-programme