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

19 October 2005

Australian Government to provide more help to restore the River Murray

The Australian Government will provide up to $150,000 to support a package of measures aimed at encouraging private water donations for environmental projects along the River Murray in South Australia, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell announced today.

Senator Campbell said the $150,000 would be provided to support practical on-ground projects as part of the Environmental Flows for the River Murray strategy which was launched today by the South Australian Minister for River Murray, Karlene Maywald.

"For the future of the River Murray, it is important that the Australian and State Governments work together to find practical solutions that make real differences for the health of the river and its supported ecosystems," Senator Campbell said.

"This funding will be released based on an investment plan to be re-submitted by South Australia identifying water quantities and outcomes. It will be used for practical, on-ground water delivery that will create a real difference to the health of the River. Private water donors will know there are funds available to get the donated water out on to the floodplain where it is needed.

"As part of this funding, I will be asking the South Australian Government to report back to me on what progress has been made in relation to improvements in the health of the river."

Senator Campbell said this was one of a number of measures the Australian Government had taken recently to address the declining health of the River Murray. These include:

The Australian Government also welcomed the recent decision by Victoria and New South Wales to provide an environmental flood to protect the world's largest River Red Gum forest, which straddles the River Murray at Echuca-Moama.

"The River Murray is an iconic part of the Australian landscape and the Australian Government is committed to restoring it to health," Senator Campbell said.

Media contact:
Renae Stoikos (Minister Campbell) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia