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Natural Heritage Trust

23 February 2001

QLD MARINE ENVIRONMENT AWASH WITH $770,000 FUNDING


The habitat of shorebirds migrating to the Sunshine Coast will be protected under one of six Queensland projects to receive nearly $770 000 Natural Heritage Trust funding announced today by Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill.

"The University of the Sunshine Coast has received $46,270 to help study the sandbanks of the Pummicestone Passage, which provide important habitat for marine shorebirds, many of which are migratory and protected by the international Ramsar Convention," Senator Hill said.

"Volunteers will learn about the impact of recreational activities in the area, in a bid to protect the long-term survival of these beautiful birds."

The projects are funded under the fourth round of the Trust's Coasts and Clean Seas initiative, amounting to a total of $9,825,626 Trust funding committed to clean seas, coastal monitoring and marine species protection in Queensland.

Senator Hill said all the projects funded today were fine examples of how on-ground work can achieve exceptional results in conserving and repairing Australia's coastal, marine and estuarine environments.

"They also demonstrate how the Trust is achieving both environmental and economic benefits," Senator Hill said.

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

"The Queensland Department of Primary Industries has received $53,800 to study the cause of death of up to one fifth of mangroves in the Mackay region since 1998. The die back is affecting the habitat of fish and bird life and creating erosion. This project will bring together all stakeholders to find solutions to the decline," Senator Hill said.

"Another project, led by the Hervey Bay City Council, will use its $191,030 funding to prevent stormwater pollution entering the Great Sandy Strait. Pollution controls will be placed at Urangan, where most litter and other debris originate.

"All these projects will build on the great achievements of previously funded Coasts and Clean Seas projects including reduced costs, increased efficiency and less waste.

"The Trust depends heavily on community, industry and government groups identifying local environmental problems, and developing solutions that can be spread to and reproduced by 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 the past three 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."

The Trust's $141 million Coasts and Clean Seas initiative is aimed at supporting the conservation, sustainable use and repair of Australia's coastal and marine environments.

The list of Queensland funded projects is available for downloading as a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view it.

For further information on the Coasts and Clean Seas initiative contact Environment Australia's Community Information Unit on toll-free 1800 803 772 or visit the website at www.environment.gov.au/marine/coast_clean_seas/

23 February 2001

Media contact:
Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill's Office): (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364

Commonwealth of Australia