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JOINT STATEMENT
FEDERAL MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND HERITAGE,
THE HON ROBERT HILL
VICTORIAN MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION,
THE HON SHERRYL GARBUTT

VIC COASTCARERS RECEIVE $633,351 FUNDING BOOST


With more help from Coastcare/Coast Action, local communities are protecting and repairing precious marine and coastal areas along the Victorian coast.

Federal Environment and Heritage Minister Robert Hill and Victorian Minister for Environment and Conservation Sherryl Garbutt today announced $633,351 funding for 67 coastal and marine protection projects throughout Victoria.

The Ministers said the new projects reaffirmed the community's involvement in playing a leading role in maintaining and enhancing this precious natural asset, with financial support from government underpinning their efforts.

"We are pleased to announce successful projects including a grant of $20,250 to the Jan Juc Coast Action Group for on-ground work to revegetate the foreshore between Jan Juc and The Wave. The Group will upgrade the beach access steps at Little Bird Rock car park, remove weeds and erect fences and interpretive signs at five points along the walking track," Senator Hill said.

"With $16,675 funding, the Friends of the Marine Discovery Centre will continue to involve school students and community members in restoring degraded sections of coastline. For the past 14 years the Centre has been undertaking dune stabilisation work through the planting of indigenous coastal plants.

"The Phillip Island Conservation Society has received $3500 funding to control erosion and restore the Red Rocks foreshore area, where there exists one of the last remaining stands of Moonahs on Phillip Island."

The Ministers said the 67 new projects were great examples of community efforts to protect Victoria's unique coastal and marine environment.

"In this International Year of the Volunteer, we congratulate all Coastcare volunteers for their important contribution towards protecting our environmental future," Minister Garbutt said.

"Since 1995, thousands of Coastcare volunteers have been working to solve local environmental problems by revegetating dunes, erecting fences, removing weeds and feral animals, improving beach access, conducting marine awareness raising activities and efforts to protect endangered marine species.

"Over the past five years, close to 439 projects have been supported by Coastcare/Coast Action. This adds up to over $3.4 million in funding and tens of thousands of volunteer hours to help protect and care for our coast.

"These new projects funded today will build on the great achievements of previous Coastcare/Coast Action environmental repair work."

Coastcare/Coast Action is implemented as a partnership between the Commonwealth, Victorian and local governments. Commonwealth funding is provided through the Natural Heritage Trust's Coasts and Clean Seas initiative and is matched by the Victorian government. Successful applicants and local management agencies also contribute to the cost of projects and provide "in kind" assistance.

A sample list of Victorian funded projects is attached. For more information on projects in your local area, please contact the Victorian Coastcare/Coast Action Coordinator, Michelle Lauder on 03 9412 4823.

March 15, 2001

Media enquiries:
Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill's Office) (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364
Sally Gibson (Minister Garbutt's office) (03) 9651 1128 or 0407 530 473

Commonwealth of Australia