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Natural Heritage Trust

Media Release

QUEENSLAND'S COAST GETS A CHRISTMAS BOOST


19 December 1997

Queensland's beaches and coastline have been given an early Christmas present with almost $900,000 of funding for coastal repair works.

The Commonwealth and Queensland Governments have joined forces to fund 66 community projects to repair and manage the State's coastline.

The projects, developed by local community groups, will receive $885,000 in Coastcare funding - nearly $270,000 more than last year.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill and Queensland Environment Minister Brian Littleproud say the funding will give a timely boost to our beaches.

Senator Hill says the summer holiday season will provide a focus for the need to protect our coastline.

"Our coasts and beaches are one of our most important natural assets. Countless numbers of Queenslanders and interstate and overseas tourists will flock to the State's beaches this summer.

"It really gives us cause to stop and think about how we are managing our coastline and whether we are running the risk of loving our beaches to death.

"Local communities are recognising the stresses being placed on the coast and are taking action to properly manage and protect their beaches.

"Through Coastcare we can provide them with the financial and technical support they need to ensure their efforts are successful."

Mr Littleproud says along with the obvious environmental benefits, community coastal efforts have major benefits for the Queensland economy.

"Tourism is a major industry in our State providing employment and job security for many Queenslanders.

"Our beaches and coastline are a major tourist drawcard. By helping us to care for our beaches, these community groups are helping to ensure the health of our tourism industry.

"Queenslanders recognise that we are the custodians of not only Australia's most diverse and beautiful coast but one the world's foremost coastal and marine environments.

"With each year of Coastcare, the community is putting its shoulder to the wheel and demonstrating more and more its enthusiasm for maintaining our coastal and marine heritage."

Successful Coastcare groups are spread along the entire Queensland coast, from the Gold Coast in the south to Karumba in the Gulf of Carpentaria, and will be funded to carry out a wide range of projects including stabilising dunes, protecting and monitoring fragile reef systems, surveying turtle and seabird populations and protecting cultural heritage sites.

The successful projects include a $19,849 project to be undertaken by the Karumba Progress Association to protect the sensitive mangrove and dunal system, and a $22,550 project by the Darumbal-Noolar Murree Aboriginal Corporation for erosion protection works and revegetation of cultural sites on the coast and islands of Shoalwater Bay."

The Whitsunday Volunteer Association ($28,342) will undertake seabird and turtle monitoring programs within the Whitsunday Islands, and the Point Lookout Surfriders Club ($20,000) on Stradbroke Island near Brisbane will construct steps and walkways to focus visitor access to Cylinder Headland.

Fringing reefs around islands off the Mackay coast will be afforded better protection from the efforts of the Mackay Branch OUCH Volunteers Group ($10,300) which will survey and raise awareness of impacts associated with anchoring of vessels.

To improve the stability of the dune system at Clifton Beach north of Cairns, the Residents and Ratepayers Association ($16,370) will propagate and plant stabilising vegetation, construct fencing and chain ladders at access points, and install information signs.

Coastcare is implemented as a partnership between the Commonwealth, States and Local Government under the Commonwealth Government's $125 million Coasts and Clean Seas program, a component of the $1.25 billion Natural Heritage Trust.

Under this year's grants, the Commonwealth will provide $493,000 with the remainder coming from the Queensland Government.

General Media Inquiries:

Matt Brown, Senator Hill's office (02) 6277 7640
Barbara Jones, Environment Australia (02) 6274 1296
Kerry White, Minister Littleproud's office (07) 3227 8825
Leanne Bowden, Qld Dept of Environment (07) 3227 7104
http://www.environment.gov.au/marine/index.html
19 December 1997
151/97

Note to Editors: For details about individual projects contact your local Coastcare Facilitator:

Deborah Langley, Far Northern Region, Cairns (07) 4052 3043
Tania Ashworth, Northern Region, Townsville (07) 4722 5312
Sonia Edwards, Central Region, Rockhampton (07) 4936 0539
Ian Kerr, Southeastern Region, Brisbane (07) 3286 9261
Facilitator for Indigenous Communities, Jana Kahabka (07) 4052 3371

1997-98 Coastcare Community Grants:

Commonwealth of Australia