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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

5 June 2000

A CLEANER FUTURE FOR SA WATERWAYS


The Murray River will benefit from increased environmental flows as part of a multi million dollar Adelaide clean water initiative announced by the Howard Government on World Environment Day.

Environment Minister Robert Hill says the comprehensive scheme will also see wastewater diverted into new treatment systems, reducing pollution in the Barker inlet, Port River Estuary and the Gulf of St Vincent.

"This is a breakthrough initiative to clean up South Australia's waterways on two fronts," Senator Hill said.

"The Parafield Partnerships Urban Stormwater Initiative will receive $1.3 million to use an innovative aquifer storage technique to capture, treat and reuse large volumes of stormwater.

"In the first stage alone, 1.5 billion litres that was being pumped from the Murray to supply the Michell Wool Scouring Plant at Salisbury will now stay in the river and improve the environmental flows to critical areas such as the Coorong," Senator Hill said.

"The Michell plant will instead rely on the harvested stormwater that has been flowing untreated into the Barker Inlet, threatening a sensitive fish breeding ground and nursery for much of South Australia's marine fisheries.

"Plans are already underway to expand the project to other industries, nearly doubling it in size and further reducing demand for potable water from the Murray. The Commonwealth is investing a further $500,000 on new wetlands and treatment systems which will reduce industrial saline and nutrient discharges into Barker Inlet by 90 percent.

"The City of Port Adelaide will also receive $800,000 from the Clean Seas Program to reduce and treat stormwater runoff from an industrial zone before entering the Port River Estuary."

Senator Hill said the Howard Government was investing a total of $2.6 million in the Adelaide clean water initiatives as part of its Urban Stormwater and Clean Seas programs. The funding will be matched by contributions from industry, state and local government.

"This is the first major project under the Howard Government's $8 million Urban Stormwater Initiative and the prototype for similar schemes in Australia's major cities to improve the health of our waterways," Senator Hill said.

June 5 2000

Media Contact: Rod Bruem (Senator Hill's Office) 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364

Commonwealth of Australia