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Joint Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Federal Member for Longman
The Hon Mal Brough MP
18 August 2004
The future of Waterwatch, the national volunteer program to manage the health of local waterways, has been assured for the next two years with the announcement today of $400,000 funding from the Australian Government.
The funding, from the $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust, was announced by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Federal Member for Longman, Mal Brough, during a visit to Bribie Island.
"Waterwatch is an outstanding example of what can be achieved by volunteers banding together to help the environment," Senator Campbell said.
"Its main aim is to educate people to improve water quality and look after our rivers, streams and waterways.
"More than 50,000 volunteers work on the program, which is now in its 12 th year.
"These dedicated volunteers undertake a variety of biological and habitat assessments as well as testing to build a picture of the health of their waterways."
Mr Brough said Waterwatch groups had started many community-based conservation projects in South-east Queensland.
"For example the Mooloolah River Catchment Group conducts water monitoring every month at 43 sites along the Mooloolah River and monitors water quality at 30 sites at Currimundi Lake," he said. "The group actively promotes water quality awareness and educates about water monitoring at local schools, including Sienna High school and Mooloolah State Primary.
"Other local conservation activities include fencing and revegetating areas of riverbanks, removing litter from waterways, eradicating weeds and invasive species and reducing the use of pesticides and other pollutants."
"I congratulate these groups for their efforts and encourage all Australians to get involved and give their waterways a hand."
For information on Waterwatch or Community Water Monitoring contact the Waterwatch national office on 02 6271 6355.
For further information about the Natural Heritage Trust: www.nht.gov.au