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

Rescue Effort for Tasmanian Rivers Begins


21 June 1997
(70/97)

An important Natural Heritage Trust initiative aimed at cleaning up four of Tasmania's main waterways has been launched in Hobart today.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has announced funding of $1.6 million for the first RiverWorks Tasmania projects.

"The Howard Government is committed to restoring the health of Australia's degraded and polluted rivers, wetlands and other waterways.

"Through the Trust, the Howard Government will provide $8.7 million for RiverWorks Tasmania over three years to help restore the biological health of the Derwent, Tamar and Huon rivers, and the Queen and King rivers and Macquarie Harbour system.

"The program is a partnership with the Tasmanian Government and will involve local councils, industry and communities in promoting the sustainable management of the State's main river systems.

"The first RiverWorks Tasmania projects will focus on reducing the amount of effluent entering the Derwent and Tamar rivers by improving the disposal and re-use of stormwater and treated sewage effluent.

"A remediation project will address the acidity and metal pollution problems in Storys Creek, a tributary of the South Esk River, caused by drainage from the old mine workings at the Rossarden Tin Mine.

"All of the projects will help raise community awareness about the problems facing Tasmania's major river systems and support the development of models for water resource management for use throughout Australia."

Projects in the Huon catchment and on the west coast are due to commence next year.

Community consultation for the second and third years of RiverWorks Tasmania will occur through regional committees, with one to be set up in each catchment. The committees will seek input from the community to help identify local issues.

RiverWorks Tasmania was initially developed as part of the Howard Government's Tasmania Package in 1996.

Contact: Julie Marks (Senator Hill's office) 0419 693 515 or 06 277 7640

70/97

Commonwealth of Australia