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The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts
Tony Burke MP
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry
Minister for Sustainable Population

Damian Hale MP
Member for Solomon

Investing in a better future for the Darwin Harbour

Media release
5 July 2010

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The Gillard Labor Government will invest $1 million in 2010-11 for a better, healthier future for the Darwin Harbour.

Marking the start of NAIDOC Week with a visit to the Harbour, Environment Protection Minister Peter Garrett, joined by Damian Hale, said the investment through the Caring for our Country program would assist efforts to help improve water quality and identify the best ways for sustainable development to take place in and around the Darwin Harbour.

"This Harbour is a Darwin icon and important to the city and the Territory for a whole range of reasons, from recreational fishing and economic activity as well as being of cultural importance to the Traditional Owners, the Larrakia people.

"Through this $1 million investment work will focus on developing tools to inform urban design and economic development decisions that are sensitive to the water quality and environmental values of the Harbour. It will also help identify water quality targets and priorities for work to help improve the health of the Harbour," Mr Garrett said.

"By working with the Larrakia people who will share their traditional ecological knowledge of the marine habitat here, we'll also ensure that we are developing a complete information set to help us make the best decisions for a healthier Darwin Harbour into the future."

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Tony Burke said the project was expected to employ local Indigenous people and was a fitting reminder of the theme of this NAIDOC Week: 'Unsung Heroes - Closing the Gap by leading their way'.

"This project will draw on information from other work involving Larrakia Rangers that we are funding through Caring for our Country and the Northern Territory Natural Resource Management Board - monitoring water quality in local lagoons, using mud-crabs to assess ecosystem health and checking nutrient levels in estuaries," Mr Burke said.

"Importantly, today's investment will also help the Northern Territory Government complete the Darwin Harbour Water Quality Improvement Plan."

Member for Solomon, Damian Hale, said: "Like many coastal cities and towns the people of Darwin love their harbour and understand how important it is to look after it.

"It is very good news that this Government is able to help them do just that thanks to this $1 million commitment. I am sure it will be warmly welcomed by Territorians."

This project is the first successful project announced as part of the 2010-11 business plan open call for the $2 billion Caring for our Country program. Further successful project announcements will be made soon.

For more information about Caring for our Country visit www.nrm.gov.au 

Commonwealth of Australia