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11 December 1998
The Northern Pacific seastar, feral Pacific Oysters and sewage treatment will be targeted in the latest round of Natural Heritage Trust projects approved for Tasmania.
Federal Environment and Heritage Minister Robert Hill has announced funding of $1.7 million from the Trust's Coasts and Clean Seas component for 13 new projects.
Senator Hill says the projects will lead to a clearer picture of the impact and extent of populations of two pest marine species, increased monitoring of inshore marine environments and to cleaner wastewater and stormwater entering Tasmania's groundwater and oceans.
"The Howard Government's undeniable commitment to achieving a healthy environment and sustainable use of our natural resources is being reinforced with each round of Natural Heritage Trust projects.
"Conserving our environment is everyone's right and responsibility and it's encouraging to see the extent of cooperation between the community, government and industry in this round of projects for Tasmania.
"With funding of $48 900, the University of Tasmania will join with marine farmers and community groups to further examine the spread and removal of the Northern Pacific seastar, a voracious pest.
"The Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute will use funding of $103 500 to provide information to marine farmers and managers throughout Australia about the impacts of feral Pacific Oysters on native species and habitats.
"Community volunteers will be heavily involved in monitoring the distribution and numbers of the vulnerable Weedy Seadragon in a project led by the Tasmanian Marine Naturalist Association which receives funding of $3 600.
"Importantly, Trust funding will enable sewage treatments plants at Swansea, Bicheno, Orford and Bridport to be upgraded, and the residential areas of Howth, Heybridge and Blythe Heads to be connected to the Penguin sewage treatment plant.
"The Brighton City Council will use funding of $59 700 to trial an innovative sand filtration system and composting toilets at Honeywood and Baskerville.
"The Hobart City Council receives $26 500 to divert effluent from the Selfs Point Wastewater Treatment Plant to irrigate the 41 hectare Cornelian Bay Sportground, instead of using potable water.
"Ultimately, these and other Coasts and Cleans Seas projects in Tasmania will contribute to Australia's largest ever environmental rescue effort."
The total value of the projects announced today is in excess of $4.9 million, with the Federal Government's contribution supplemented by funding from the Tasmanian Government, local government, research institutions and non-government bodies.
The Trust's $125 million Coasts and Cleans initiative includes the Clean Seas Program, Coastal Monitoring Program and Introduced Marine Pests Program.
Matt Brown (Senator Hill) 02 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515
Margaret Tailby (Environment Australia) 02 6274 1403
11 December 1998