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Green Budget: Funding For Green Initiatives

Funding For Green Initiatives Appropriated

Green Party co-leaders Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald said today that the Greens and the Government are pioneering a new political relationship in agreeing Green initiatives for the 2001/2002 budget.

“The Government has worked with us to recognise in the Budget the unique relationship that we find ourselves in, with the Greens supporting the minority coalition Government. We are delighted that they have agreed to fund over $16.4 million for Green initiatives this year, plus commitments to ongoing funding for some projects.

Ms Fitzsimons and Mr Donald said the Green involvement in the Budget was the result of a maturing relationship with the Government, and a symbol of a successful MMP system.

“Last year, the Greens came in late to the budget process and received a political promise of $15 million in contingency funds.

“This year the Greens were involved months before the budget and have been constructively negotiating to sort out how these initiatives will work on the ground and to secure funding from Ministers.

“Although the amount of money involved is modest, we’re delighted to be able to continue translating the Green vision into reality. Our initiatives are diverse but they all tie together in creating stronger communities and a more sustainable environment.”

Green initiatives quantified in the 2001/2002 budget are worth $16.4 million, compared to $15 million last year. In addition, the Greens and the Government have agreed to continue working together to finalise three key Green projects; soil dioxin testing, an advisory service for organics and a possible extension of the community internship scheme.

“We expect the three projects could be delivered for around $1.5 million,” said Ms Fitzsimons and Mr Donald.

The $16.4 million set aside for Green initiatives has been allocated as part of each Ministers’ Vote in 2001/2002, meaning that it is in the Budget appropriations and already has Cabinet sign off.

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