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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Peter McGauran

9 August 2006

Partnerships rehabilitate nine icon rivers

The Australian Government is working in partnership with Greening Australia, corporate sponsors, including Alcoa, and catchment management authorities to rehabilitate nine of Australia's icon rivers.

The Ministers for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, and the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today officially launched the 10-year national River Recovery programme at Parliament House, Canberra.

River Recovery will coordinate rehabilitation activities along the Yarra (Victoria), Hawkesbury/Nepean (NSW), Boorowa (ACT /NSW), Derwent (Tasmania), Lower Murray (South Australia), Burdekin (Queensland), Hutt (Western Australia), Coliban (Northern Territory) and Katherine (Northern Territory).

Senator Campbell said programmes that promoted on-the-ground action and community support, like River Recovery, complemented the objectives of the National Water Initiative (NWI).

"The NWI represents a landmark agreement as it is the first time all stakeholders have agreed a framework to meet the objectives of consumptive use and the needs of the environment," Senator Campbell said.

"Specifically, parties to the agreement have committed to return over-allocated systems to environmentally sustainable levels of extraction and protect Australia's high-conservation value aquatic ecosystems."

Mr McGauran described River Recovery as a perfect example of a successful national partnership between governments, a non-government organisation, the private sector and communities.

"The Australian Government has provided $2.9 million for River Recovery through our Natural Heritage Trust, $600,000 from the National Landcare Programme and over $400,000 under our Community Water Grants programme," he said.

"More than $4 million, in cash and kind, has been provided by Greening Australia and more than $2.3 million from Alcoa. Other significant funding has come from catchment management authorities and other corporate sponsors. This supports the vitally important on-the-ground work that is provided by volunteers from across Australia.

"River Recovery fits well with the Australian Government's overall strategy to improve our natural resources, make agriculture more sustainable and strengthen rural and regional Australia, economically and socially."

Media contact:
Russ Neal (Mr McGauran's office) 02 6277 7520
Rob Broadfield (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902

Commonwealth of Australia