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

4 March 2001

$200,000 FEDERAL FUNDING TO REVITALISE THE TORRENS


Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has announced $200,000 Natural Heritage Trust funding on Cleanup Australia Day for a project aiming to enhance Adelaide's water quality and protect the habitats of many threatened species.

"This constructed wetland project at St Peter's Billabong will prevent loads of stormwater pollution from entering the River Torrens. The wetland will trap and clean urban stormwater before it enters the River Torrens and the Gulf of St Vincent," Senator Hill said.

"In constructing the wetland, the Torrens Catchment Water Management Board will increase the survival chances of many animals and plants living in the Billabong, including a threatened water snail and leech.

"The good news for Adelaide is that, by catching sediments, nutrients and other pollutants, the wetland will dramatically improve River Torrens water quality.

"The wetland will also improve the Billabong's appearance, providing the local community with a valuable environmental and recreational asset."

The Trust's Coasts and Clean Seas initiative funded this project, worth a total of just over $800,000, bringing a total $5.49 million Commonwealth support to clean seas, coastal monitoring and marine species protection in South Australia.

"The Trust depends heavily on community, industry and government groups identifying local environmental problems, and developing solutions that can be reproduced in other regions," Senator Hill said.

"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 supports the conservation, sustainable use and repair of Australia's coastal and marine environments.

In the cooperative spirit of the Trust, funding from State and local governments and the community will boost the Federal Government's 2000-2001 contribution.

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/

4 March 2001

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

Commonwealth of Australia