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Joint Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Member for Hinkler
Paul Neville MP

27 September 2004

Coalition commits $350,000 to fight weeds in Burnett-Kolan system

The Coalition is responding to the critical need for aquatic weed removal on the Burnett-Kolan River systems with $300,000 for the purchase of an aquatic weed harvester, the Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, announced today.

A re-elected Coalition Government would also commit a further $50,000 to research to find a long-term solution to the problem, once the weed infestation was reduced to a manageable level.

Senator Campbell announced this funding for the reduction of the severe infestation of the aquatic weeds, Salvinia Molesta, a listed weed of national significance, and water hyacinth, during a visit to Sandy Hook with Federal Member for Hinkler Paul Neville today.

"While the State Government continues to sit on its hands, the Coalition has recognised the urgent need for action. It has acted quickly to combat the crisis facing the catchment and to work towards the development of a long-term solution," Senator Campbell said.

The funding will go directly to the North Burnett Local Government Association which is supported by the Burnett Catchment (East) Association. The aquatic weed harvester will be used to combat weeds in the Burnett-Kolan and adjacent rivers and creeks.

The funding will be subject to a Memorandum of Understanding between the North Burnett Local Government Association and the reelected Coalition Government

"I am very pleased the Environment Minister has come to the district to see first-hand the devastating impact of aquatic weeds on the catchments and committed this funding to assist our local environment from the $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust," Mr Neville said.

"It shows the Coalition is committed to helping local communities achieve local solutions. The challenge now is for the Queensland Government and other stakeholders to match this commitment."

Commonwealth of Australia