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Natural Heritage Trust

18 February 2001

TAS COASTAL AND MARINE WATERS AWASH WITH $710,000 FUNDING


Efforts to conserve and protect Tasmania's coastal, marine and estuarine environments have received a $710,000 funding boost.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill and Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries, Water and Environment, David Llewellyn today announced $157,598 funding for 22 Tasmanian community projects funded through the Coastcare program. Minister Hill also announced an additional seven projects would receive more than $500,000 funding from the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust through the Clean Seas, Coastal Monitoring and Marine Species Protection programs.

Today's announcement includes funding from the fourth round of the Trust's $141 million Coasts and Clean Seas initiative.

The Ministers said all the projects were fine examples of how on ground work could achieve exceptional results in ensuring the continued health of Tasmania's coastal and marine environment for future generations.

"The project that we are visiting today, and other sites along the Tamar, will regenerate and restore degraded coastal sites," the Ministers said.

"The Friends of Little Swan Point group has received $4,220 funding to rehabilitate the Little Swan Point Foreshore Walking Track through weed eradication, protection of stands of Coastal Tea Tree and revegetation of native species.

"With $24,889 funding, community volunteers under the guidance of the Tamar Region Natural Resource Management Strategy Reference Group will develop management and restoration plans for coastal reserves at Greens Beach and Kelso. This group will also be acting to address bed & bank erosion of the Tamar Estuary with an additional $5527 grant."

Other projects funded in Tasmania will address marine pollution from wastewater, the protection of marine species from human impacts, and important habitat preservation.

"At St Helens, the Break O'Day Council has received $35,800 funding to install a pump and collection tank for boat wastewater and an oil tank at the local Marina. The tank will redirect the wastewater to the town's sewage system and the oil tank will collect oil for recycling," the Ministers said.

"The Sorell Council will use its $250,000 funding to install a sewage treatment and reuse system to protect the health of Ramsar-listed Pittwater Orielton Lagoon. The Lagoon provides habitat for migratory shorebirds and regionally significant flora and fauna. This new system will protect the habitat by reducing nutrient discharge flowing out to the lagoon.

"With the support of $15,328 funding, the University of Tasmania will study the value of salt marshes as nutrient filters in the Huon Estuary. The Estuary is an important habitat for migratory shorebirds and it is thought the salt marshes will improve the region's water quality.

"Hobart City Council has received $72,000 to protect the Derwent Estuary from stormwater pollution. Business owners, stall operators and visitors to Salamanca and the Hobart Docks area will be provided with an education package covering stormwater pollutants such as oils and litter, while a stormwater litter trap will be installed to trap litter before it enters the estuary," the Ministers said.

Money has also been provided for work to protect vulnerable bird and marine species populations.

"The Marine & Coastal Community Network, in conjunction with the Tasmanian Conservation Trust has received $12,250 Coastcare funding to develop and implement a management plan for the significant seabird and seal breeding islands off Tasmania's south coast.

"These islands are the stronghold for the breeding habitat of the Fairy Prion and locally-rare New Zealand Fur Seal. They also provide important breeding refuges for Short Tailed Shearwaters, Little Penguins, Crested Terns and Common Diving Petrels."

The Ministers said, "all these projects announced today will build on the great achievements of previously-funded Coasts and Clean Seas projects including more on ground action, reduced costs, increased efficiency and less waste."

"The Natural Heritage Trust represents a partnership between governments of all levels and the community and depends heavily on local groups identifying their regional environmental problems, and developing solutions to help their own areas as well as be applied in other regions.

"The number and quality of community applications for Trust funding is a clear endorsement of the Trust, and those projects awarded funds will continue the collaborative work of past years.

"The end result will be cleaner beaches, improved water quality and a better understanding of the impact of human and natural activities on marine biodiversity."

Senator Hill also said that applications for the next round of Coasts and Clean Seas funding were now open. Copies of the application guidelines are available from the Tasmanian Coasts and Clean Seas Coordinator Chris Rees on (03) 6233 3963. Applications close on Wednesday 16 May 2001.

A list of the 29 funded projects in Tasmania is available for downloading as a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view it.

18 February 2001
Media enquiries:
Rachael Thompson (Senator Hill's Office) (02) 6277 7640 or 0417 265 289
Mark Thomas (Tasmanian Government Media Office) 0419 306 675
Chris Rees (Tasmanian Coasts and Clean Seas/Coastcare Coordinator) (03) 6233 3963

Commonwealth of Australia