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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

10 February 2005

Queensland Waterwatcher earns national recognition


The pioneering member of the Mooloolah Waterwatch group has earned a national award recognition of her outstanding work in protecting local waterways.

Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, congratulated Jan Kesby and the 13 other recipients of the National Waterwatch Awards, who were announced at a special ceremony in Melbourne last night.

“Jan is a very deserving winner of this award. Her passion for Waterwatch began back in 1997 when she found some dead turtles in the Mooloolah River,” Senator Campbell said.

“After contacting her Regional Waterwatch Facilitator and arranging a series of community meetings, a Waterwatch group was formed to monitor the health of the river, which they have been doing for the past seven years.

“Waterwatch is a national community water quality monitoring network that encourages all Australians to become involved in the protection and management of their waterways and catchments. The Australian Government started Waterwatch in 1993 in recognition of growing community concern for water quality.

“Since Waterwatch began, the number of monitoring groups has grown from 200 operating in 16 catchments, to nearly 3000 groups in 200 catchments. Around 500 sites are monitored regularly.

“The Waterwatch network is made up of individuals like Jan, community groups and school groups who undertake biological and habitat assessments and physical and chemical tests to build a picture of the health of their waterways and catchments.” He said.

Senator Campbell said in Jan's case, the Mooloolah Waterwatch group has broadened from community water quality monitoring to rehabilitating stream banks and preservation of threatened plant species.

“The Mooloolah Waterwatch group has worked tirelessly on a number of projects, including a madeira vine management project and removal of the destructive weed camphor laurel, which members replaced with native species.

“Jan actively promotes Waterwatch to local school kids and the broader community through school visits, field trips and events such as the Sunshine Coast World Environment Day Festival. For example, she helped start the Koo-ee Kids Club at the Mooloolabah State School, which has since built a shade house and rehabilitated a section of the adjacent river bank.

“I congratulate Jan for her outstanding efforts in protecting her local environments and hope her achievements motivate other Australians to become involved.” he said.

Jan was nominated for the Award by the Regional Waterwatch Facilitator, Joadie Hardy, who said she has helped the Mooloolabah community understand and appreciate the richness of their local environment.

For more information on Waterwatch, visit www.waterwatch.org.au

Media contact:
Senator Campbell's office: Renae Stoikos on 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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