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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

Summer of Coastcare Launched


2 December 1996
(170/96)

Federal Environment Minister, Senator Robert Hill, today called on all Australians to take care of our coast over the summer months.

Launching the inaugural Coastcare Week, Senator Hill said Australia had one of the longest and most beautiful coastlines in the world and all Australians had a responsibility to protect it.

More than 700 diverse community groups around the country are celebrating Coastcare Week. The groups are part of the Coastcare program, a community action program supported by the Commonwealth and States.

This year the Commonwealth has more than doubled funding for Coastcare grants to $3 million.

With State and local contributions, over $9 million will be spent on community projects around the country to protect, conserve and rehabilitate the coast.

Senator Hill said that for many years, community groups had devoted time and boundless energy to caring for their local coastlines, often with little support or recognition.

Currently, there are over 250 projects underway to rehabilitate beaches and dunes, control weeds, survey and protect flora and fauna, prepare management plans, undertake monitoring and educate the community on coastal and marine issues.

The Minister welcomed the support of business for Coastcare, with major sponsorship from companies such as Uncle Toby's and Pioneer, and of sporting champions such as Lisa Curry and Patrick Rafter.

Senator Hill said the Coastcare program reflected the Government's commitment to funding community based environmental activities.

The Government plans to build on community efforts to protect our coastline with a $100 million Coasts and Clean Seas Initiative. The Coast and Clean Seas Initiative is a central component of the $1 billion Natural Heritage Trust to be funded through the part sale of Telstra.

For further information: Matt Brown, Media, 06 277 7640

Gerry Morvell, Environment Australia, 06 274 1434

Commonwealth of Australia