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

31 January 2001

PORT OF HOBART WINS FEDERAL FUNDING


Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill today announced $110,000 Natural Heritage Trust funding for a project preventing toxic waste from entering the Derwent River from the Port of Hobart.

"The Hobart Ports Corporation will install marine waste disposal facilities to capture contaminated waste water generated by the high number of visiting commercial and recreational vessels," Senator Hill said.

"More than 400 boats, ships and yachts dock in the Port of Hobart each year, with the potential to dump thousands of litres of poisonous anti-foulant paint into the water. These vessels are also capable of discharging bilge water, sewage, garbage and other noxious wastes from vessel maintenance onto slipway rails then into coastal waters.

"The port's slipway will be upgraded where currently no facilities exist to capture marine wastes like metals, paints, thinners, oils and cleaning agents. Nearly all waste liquids and solids will be captured and properly treated before being discharged to sewerage or removed from site.

"New slipway shields will also prevent any airborne particles escaping and entering the river.

"Ship waste from ports is a far greater pollution threat than oil spills, and kills more of Australia's precious marine species."

The project is funded under the Marine Waste Reception Facilities Program, which aims to prevent toxic waste from entering the country's ports, marinas and boat harbours. Fourteen similar projects have received funds around Australia.

"All these projects provide good examples of the best ways to dispose of marine waste. I hope this funding will lead to other Australian port operators taking note of the program's environmental benefits and getting involved with its aim to improve disposal facilities throughout the nation," Senator Hill said.

The funding comes from the Trust's $141 million Coasts and Clean Seas initiative to support the conservation, sustainable use and repair of Australia's coastal and marine environments.

Other projects to win funding include eight in New South Wales, four in Victoria, and one each in Queensland and Western Australia.

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/

31 January 2001

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

Commonwealth of Australia