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Departmental media release archive

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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

"Get Your Mind in the Gutter!"

Media Release

5 July 2001

Did you know that you are polluting our beaches and oceans every time you pour oil down the sink? … throw a cigarette butt out the window? … or wash your car on the street?

In the lead up to World Environment Day on 5 June, Coastcare is encouraging people to 'Get their minds in the gutter' - calling on Australians to think about the actions they take at home and work to help stop polluting our beaches and oceans.

Tracey Wickham - 5 time swimming world record holder and 4 time Commonwealth gold medal winner - is a strong supporter of the Coastcare program.

"All Australians can make a difference to help keep our oceans and beaches clean," Tracey said.

"We all have an impact on what flows from our gutters to our coast. When it comes to Coastcare, we've all got to get involved. Our children deserve nothing less than a clean and healthy environment. As a mother I'm very concerned about what is happening to our oceans and beaches."

"Importantly, we can all be a part of the Coastcare solution by getting involved in projects to protect and restore our precious coastline."

Most coastal pollution originates on land. When rain falls, loose material from the ground gets washed into the storm water system so things like cigarette butts, oil, dog droppings and street litter flow into the storm water system, and ultimately into the ocean.


Tracey Wickham added, "I love being at the beach with my kids. Australia has the best beaches in the world, and they are a very important part of Australian culture."

"We simply cannot afford to end up like some other countries where beaches can be full of rubbish. I've seen the results of pollution on our beaches and it's a terrible sight. I've seen glass bottles, fishing line, plastic bags, plastic cups, cigarette butts and chip packets all carelessly left behind. I just can't understand why people can't dispose of rubbish carefully."

Coastcare is urging everyone to take the following actions to help reduce the pollution of our waterways:

  1. Dispose of litter thoughtfully - especially plastic bags and cigarette butts
  1. Keep oils and chemicals out of the sink
  1. Wash your car on a grassy area

National Coastcare Manager, Sarah Chalkley said the Coastcare program is making a difference on the ground to repair and protect our coastal and marine environment.

Sarah Chalkley said, "Coastcare grants and a network of 30 Facilitators around the country help the community to get involved in projects such as dune rehabilitation, coastal planning and marine monitoring. There are now over 60,000 volunteers involved with Coastcare and close to 2,000 Coastcare groups - forming a network that is working to save Australia's precious oceans and beaches."

"Volunteers form the backbone of the Coastcare effort and in this the International Year of the Volunteer, I would like to congratulate them for their commitment to ensuring our coastlines are protected for future generations."

Coastcare is a program of the Commonwealth Government's Natural Heritage Trust in partnership with State and Territory governments.

For more information on Coastcare, please call Environment Australia's Community Information Unit on 1800 803 772 or visit the web site at: www.environment.gov.au/marine/coastcare

Media enquiries to:
Suzy Upcroft
Media & Communication Officer
Landcare Australia

Ph: (02) 9412 1040
M: 0414 323 615

Sarah Chalkley
National Coastcare Manager
Environment Australia

Ph: 02 6274 1490
M: 0409 827 752

You can also call Ross Woodward or Jessica Morrow at Media Key on (03) 9781 5140.

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