Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts logo
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts home page

Archived media releases and speeches


Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

10 August 2003

Over $2.9m for Adelaide's Port Waterways

The condition of Adelaide's Port Waterways will benefit from over $2.9 million in funding, including $1.6 million from the Howard Government's $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust, announced today.

Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and South Australian Minister for Environment and Conservation, John Hill, announced funding for a series of interim water quality projects in Adelaide's Port River Estuary and Barker Inlet, forming the Port Waterways catchment.

This is in addition to the $370,000 already committed by the Commonwealth and South Australian Governments for the development of a Water Quality Improvement Plan to protect the environmental values of Adelaide's Port Waterways by achieving nutrient discharge and environmental flow targets.

"The Port River Estuary and Barker Inlet contain diverse and ecologically important aquatic ecosystems including mangrove stands, salt marshes, tidal flats and sea grass beds that are threatened by declining water quality," Dr Kemp said.

"The waterways are also home to a pod of bottlenose dolphins, for which a sanctuary is being developed. These features, with the backdrop of an urban and industrialised catchment, make this area a priority for the Trust's Coastal Catchments Initiative.

"These projects will make a significant contribution to delivering and measuring sustained water quality improvements in the Port Waterways. I am particularly encouraged that they begin to set the scene for future investments in cost-effectively improving water quality through private investment, as demonstrated by the development of statutory Codes of Practice for wharf handling and marina activities and introduction of a nutrient trading scheme.

"This work will not only benefit the Port Waterways area, but will also reduce the pressure on Gulf St Vincent."

Minister Hill said: "Excessive nutrient loads are a major problem in the Port River Estuary. Frequent 'red-tides' of potentially toxic algae have resulted in temporary bans on taking shellfish and fish from the Port River."

The Port River Estuary receives nutrients from many sources such as industrial, storm water and wastewater discharges. The interim projects for South Australia have been developed to assist the implementation of the Water Quality Improvement Plan and address significant nutrient sources in the Port Waterways catchment.

"The Port Waterways catchment will benefit greatly from the creation of a nutrient trading program for sustainable development, and a water quality monitoring program, with all projects delivering improved water quality and water resource management outcomes," Minister Hill said.

For further details on the Coastal Catchments Initiative, visit the website:

Project Details

Marina and Boating Management in the Port Waterways
Environment Protection Authority (EPA) of South Australia
Project Cost:
Brief Description: Marina and boating waste has been identified as a direct source of nutrients to the Port River and Barker Inlet. Very few of the boats have black water facilities and none have grey water holding facilities. Although black water storage facilities may be available on board some boats only one of the marinas in the area has sullage pump out facilities.

This project aims to reduce sewage and wastewater discharges from boats, yachts, marinas and slipways to these waterways. An audit of current practice will be undertaken and viable options to dispose of waste and wastewater from boats, marinas and slipways in a responsible manner in lieu of discharge to marine waters will be developed. A Code of Practice will be developed to provide guidelines for best environmental management practice for managing vessel and marina wastes in inland waters. The Code will be developed in consultation with the relevant industries, owners and users of the marinas, vessels and slipways. The Water Quality Environment Protection Policy (EPP) will be amended to include marine waters affected by vessel waste.
Contact: Diane Kotrotsos (08) 8204 2032

Development of a Code of Practice for Material Handling Practices on the Port Wharf
EPA of South Australia
Project Cost
: $165,000
Brief Description: Material handling practices on the Port Wharf contribute nutrient pollution to the Port Waterways through direct spillage into the waters, runoff and poor management. Cargoes include live sheep exports, bulk fertilizer and grain. All of these contribute to nutrient pollution of the Port River. Poor management practices at the wharf such as directly washing down or sweeping accumulated material from wharf areas into the river contribute to water quality impairment of the Port River.

This project aims to reduce material discharges from spillage and runoff and develop and implement a statutory code of practice for wharf material handling. The project will audit current material handling practices and develop and implement a statutory code of practice to prevent nutrient discharges from these sources. The code of practice will assist the industry to understand their environmental obligations when carrying out activities that may be harmful to the environment. The code will be supported by enforcement and compliance procedures. Environment protection regulations will be amended to include material handling practices.
Contact: Diane Kotrotsos (08) 8204 2032

Load based pollution control licensing in Adelaide's Port Waterways catchment
EPA of South Australia
Project Cost:
Brief Description: Industrial discharges and other point source pollution are major sources of nutrients to these waters. This project aims to reform licensing arrangements for point sources in the Port Waterways catchment. Load-based licensing (LBL) can ensure industries licensed under the SA Environment Protection Act discharge pollutants in accordance with the load allocations determined under the proposed Water Quality Improvement Plan. The project will develop a LBL framework and apply it to all premises within the Port Waterways Catchment. The project will determine pollutant load allocations for licensed discharge points, develop a set of draft regulations in consultation with licensees, amend the regulations to accommodate a load based licensing system, and, build processes for executing the load based licensing system.
Contact: Diane Kotrotsos (08) 8204 2032

A Statutory Nutrient Offsets Program for the Port Waterways Catchment
EPA of South Australia
Project Cost:
Brief Description: This project aims to establish a pollution offset program and nutrient trading system within the Port Waterways catchment. A nutrient offsets program in the Port River catchment would allow existing or new polluters to compensate for their impacts on water quality. Compensation could occur through direct rehabilitation of other pollution sources in the catchment or through contributions to a central rehabilitation fund. This enables participants to fulfill their nutrient control obligations on a catchment-wide basis where existing controls cannot be met on-site. The project will develop a framework for establishing a nutrient offsets program, develop a set of draft regulations in consultation with licensees, amend regulations to accommodate a nutrient offset scheme and build processes for executing the nutrient offset program.
Contact: Diane Kotrotsos (08) 8204 2032

Water Quality Monitoring For Execution and Review of the Water Quality Improvement Plan
EPA of South Australia
Project Cost:
Brief Description: A Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP) is being developed for Adelaide's Port Waterways, which will include measures to manage these pollution sources. A key element of the WQIP is implementation of a monitoring program that provides the ability to track nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) load changes as a result of implementation of projects and actions described in the plan itself.

This project aims to develop a formal water quality monitoring program, consistent with the requirements of the National Water Quality Management Strategy, for monitoring changes in nutrient loads to the Estuary, and tracking implementation of the WQIP, management actions and projects. The Program will address the range of monitoring issues required for nutrient load management (including program design and objectives, field sampling, laboratory analysis, community based monitoring, data analysis and interpretation, and public reporting). The project will also involve upgrading several water quality and flow monitoring sites and equipment and developing reporting protocols for measuring the success of management actions. Establishment of a comprehensive monitoring program and infrastructure will allow Governments and the community to evaluate the effectiveness of catchment management, and assess whether nutrient load and environmental flow targets set under the WQIP are being achieved.
Contact: Diane Kotrotsos (08) 8204 2032

City of Port Adelaide Enfield - Urban Stormwater Master Plan
City of Port Adelaide Enfield
Project Cost:
Brief Description: This Project will develop a number of Urban Stormwater Master Plans (USMP) for sub-catchments in the Port Adelaide Enfield catchment. An USMP is a vehicle that provides the specific requirements for urban stormwater management in an existing council area. The USMPs can be used as vehicles to implement change to an existing Development Plan if the Plan is limiting environmental management of urban stormwater.

This project will develop criteria and techniques for determining how activities in the catchment affect water quality, how they can be managed and how the environmental values of waters in the Port River Estuary and Barker Inlet will be maintained and protected assessing and managing water quality in the Port Adelaide Enfield Catchment. These criteria and techniques will then be incorporated into the USMPs for a number of sub-catchments in the Port Adelaide Catchment.
Contact: Verity Sanders (08) 8405 6765

Gross Pollutant Trap on Dry Creek and Rising Main to South Terrace Reserve Wetland
City of Salisbury
Project Cost:
Brief Description: Dry Creek and Hills Face catchments are major urbanised catchments that discharge untreated urban stormwater into the Barker Inlet / Port River Estuary. The untreated stormwater is having an adverse effect on the marine and estuary environment. The project will aims to

The wetlands are expected to result in reductions in phosphorus and nitrogen loads of 60-70%. Sediment and heavy metal loads will be reduced by an expected 90-95%.
Contact: Brenton Curtis (08) 8406 8330

Burton West Wetlands Project
City of Salisbury
Project Cost:
Brief Description: Stormwater pollution contributes to nutrient pollution in the Port River Estuary and Barker Inlet. In the Adelaide plains area, untreated stormwater from approximately 770 ha of industrial and residential areas discharges directly into the Barker Inlet estuary and marine environment. The objective of the project is to construct a treatment basin and wetland to reduce the gross pollutant load to the Barker Inlet. The proposed wetlands will reduce the phosphate, nitrates, sediments and heavy metals in the stormwater through a natural treatment process before it enters the Barker Inlet. It is estimated that sediment loads, nitrogen and phosphorus will be reduced by at least 50%.
Contact: Brenton Curtis (08) 8406 8330

Review and Amendment of Council Development Plans - Northern Adelaide and Barossa Catchment Management Board
Project Cost:
Brief Description: This project will review the Development Plans of participating Councils in the Northern Adelaide and Barossa catchment and identify changes that could be implemented through a Planning Amendment Report. The project will examine how current development plans impact on catchment health and how these plans can be modified to remove or minimise such impacts. This project will address issues such as watercourse rehabilitation and protection, water affecting activities, land capability, land management, stormwater management and wastewater treatment and use within the catchment. An amendment to the Development Plans of catchment Councils dealing specifically with catchment water management issues, is required in order to advance the process of water reform in new development within the catchment area.
Contact: Scott Douglas (08) 8285 2033

Commonwealth of Australia