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

16 February 2001


Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill today announced $1 million in Commonwealth funding for seven South Australian projects tackling water quality in the state's coastal waters.

Senator Hill said the projects would help prevent tonnes of rubbish, toxic waste and effluent from spilling onto South Australia's beaches and into the state's coastal waters.

"Ship waste in ports is a far greater threat to the marine environment than oil spills," Senator Hill said.

"Oil spills grab the headlines but they actually kill less marine species than the ongoing problem of waste coming from ports and pose far less threat to swimmers and recreational users."

In today's funding announcement, The Boating Industry Association of South Australia has received $204,500 to install a state-of-the-art waste disposal facility at the North Haven Public Boat Ramp.

"More than 1000 boats are in the water within 3km of the marina and a further 20,000 recreational boats are estimated to be launched at the public boat ramp each year. Recreational boats only release small amounts of pollutants but this multiplied can cause serious environmental problems," Senator Hill said.

"This project will involve constructing an "environmental finger" where boats can pump out effluent and carefully dispose of oil, ensuring it does not enter the water. Boat users can also get rid of their rubbish - whether it be empty bottles or unwanted fishing tackle. There will also be a special refuse area to deal with the remains of filleted fish which can often cause an unwelcome stench to other people using the area."

The Cruising Yacht Club and Boating Industry Association have matched funding to make this important demonstration project of best practice for South Australian waterways happen.

"The District Council of Yorke Peninsula has received $120,000 to prevent more than one million litres of liquid effluent being discharged into coastal waters each year from local caravan and foreshore parks. A treatment plant, rising and interconnecting mains, power supply and an effluent reuse system will be installed in the project," Senator Hill said.

Senator Hill also announced funding for other projects designed to stop tonnes of toxic waste from entering the State's ports, marinas and boat harbours.

"These projects will see marine waste disposal facilities installed to protect our marine environment from boat and ship pollution. Currently only limited waste handling facilities exist at ports throughout South Australia," Senator Hill said.

"Boats, ships and yachts docking in any of South Australia's ports can be responsible for discharging large amounts of bilge water, sewage and garbage into coastal waters.

"Near the mouth of the Murray River, the Marina Hindmarsh Island has received $21,000 to expand its oily waste facility, and provide separate containers for recycling and other wastes at the slipway, which docks up to 600 vessels annually.

"Newly developed Marina St Vincent at Wirrina caters for 5000 recreational vessels each year. Funding of $93,000 will help with the installation of a sewage pump-out and waste recycling facilities, and provide for the safe disposal of oily wastes like bilge water, engine oil and oil filters.

"The SA Seafood Council has received $298,850 to continue funding its project to provide waste reception facilities at 15 sites across the State. There are limited waste reception facilities at all port throughout South Australia - this project will introduce new, integrated facilities to cater for a range of waste, such as oily wastes, sewage, slipway wastes, garbage and recyclables."

The Torrens Catchment Water Management will receive funding for two projects.

The first $250,000 of Commonwealth funding will be used to dramatically reduce the amount of stormwater pollution spilling into Port River Estuary via West Lakes. Pollutant traps will be placed over major stormwater drains to help make cleaner estuary flows.

"Another project led by the Board aims to prevent more than 50 tonnes of floating rubbish from pouring into Gulf St Vincent every year. Funding of $75,000 will go towards installing a gross pollutant trap at the Torrens River outlet.

"The end result will be cleaner beaches, improved water quality and a marine environment able to sustain our coastal industries," Senator Hill said.

Funding comes through the Natural Heritage Trust's $141 million Coasts and Clean Seas initiative aimed to support the conservation, sustainable use and repair of Australia's coastal and marine environments. Funds also come from the Marine Waste Reception Facilities Program. This latest round of funding brings to a total of 5.29 million Natural Heritage Trust funding committed to clean seas, coastal monitoring and marine species protection in South Australia.

Senator Hill also issued a call today for applications for the next round of Coasts and Clean Seas funding. Copies of the application guidelines are available from the South Australian Coasts and Clean Seas Officer. Applications close on Wednesday 16 May 2001.

16 February 2001

Media enquiries:
Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill's Office): (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364
Damian Moroney (SA Coasts and Clean Seas Officer): 08 8224 2046

SA Coasts and Clean Seas Projects for 2000-01 is available for downloading as PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view it.

Commonwealth of Australia