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Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP

10 December 2001

SYDNEY SCHOOL WINS RACE AROUND THE CATCHMENT


Students from Mercy College Chatswood were today announced the winners of the national Race Around the Catchment competition.

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, congratulated the school students, who won the school group category of the video competition.

"Race Around the Catchment, which is coordinated by the Natural Heritage Trust's Waterwatch program, aims to highlight the importance of water and catchment issues across Australia," Dr Kemp said.

"The competition involves individuals, schools and community groups producing a video showing the initiatives they have been working on to maintain the health of their waterway.

"Mercy College created an entertaining and educational video centred on their environmental activities in the Scotts Creek catchment. The Year Nine students have been very proactive in not only monitoring, cleaning up, weeding and revegetating Scott's creek, but have gone one step further to raise awareness within the broader community about environmental issues.

"The students interviewed local businesses about the environment, assessing their attitudes, values and knowledge of Scotts Creek and recording the actions they were taking to prevent pollution.

"Other activities included distributing brochures, stencilling drains in the catchment saying "H2Only" and "Only rain down the drain" and composing the "Three Little Fish" song shown on the video.

"I congratulate Mercy College on its efforts to repair and protect the fragile local environment and for teaching their local community about the importance of our waterways," Dr Kemp said.

"Race Around the Catchment is a wonderful example of how governments and communities are working together towards a better environment for everyone.

"The standard of submissions was excellent and I commend the enthusiasm shown by all participants.

"The response to the Race Around the Catchment competition shows that children, the decision makers of the future, have much to contribute to environmental issues."

Murray River marathon swimmer Tammy van Wisse today presented the Mercy College students with a digital camera and $500 worth of water monitoring equipment supplied by Merck Pty Ltd. National sponsors of the competition include Vendart, Merck, Hanna Instruments and the Australian Water Association in partnership with the Natural Heritage Trust through Waterwatch Australia.

Waterwatch Australia is a national community water monitoring program funded by the Howard Government's $2.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust, with contributions from State Governments and other in-kind support. There are over 50,000 Australians participating in the program nationally and regular monitoring occurs at over 5,000 sites across Australia.

Media contact:
Megan Bonny (Dr Kemp's Office) (02) 6277 7640 or 0404 823 018

Commonwealth of Australia