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

14 December 2001

LOCAL STUDENTS WIN RACE AROUND THE CATCHMENT AWARD


Year Five students at York District High School are the runners-up of the national Waterwatch Race Around the Catchment competition.

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, congratulated the school students on winning the overall runner-up prize of the video competition's school group category.

"I congratulate the York District High School students on their efforts to protect their local environment," Dr Kemp said.

"Along with conducting water quality monitoring activities, the York District High School students produced an informative video showing their efforts to control the noxious Bridal Creeper weed. The weed was depicted as the villain in nature in the video with the leaf hopper beetle, which eats away at the weeds, as the super hero. The students are breeding the Leaf Hopper beetle to provide an environmentally friendly method of weed control.

"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.

"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.

"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," he said.

The York District High School students were today presented with a digital camera. 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