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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment
3 May 1998
Despite the on-set of winter, community groups across the country are being urged to head down to their favourite beach to help clean up Australia's coastline.
The Federal Government has $3 milIion on offer to help community groups repair, protect and conserve their local coastal environment.
Environment Minister Robert Hill says the Coastcare funding builds on the natural affinity we have with our beaches.
"Australia has one of the longest and most beautiful coastlines in the world, and is a source of pride for all of us. But the reality is many of our beaches are polluted, vegetation which once covered sand dunes has gone and with it the animals which depended on it for their survival.
"Coastcare has been one of the major success stories of our $1.25 billion Natural Heritage Trust. We've already been able to fund hundreds of community groups in a wide range of coastal protection projects.
"These range from sand dune restoration, the building of walking tracks to protect dune vegetation, weed eradication, litter clean-ups on remote beaches, and monitoring of the health of local reefs.
"Every weekend you'll find community groups out there working for a better coastal environment.
"They know their local beaches and the problems facing them. They have worked out a solution and are putting it in to place. Through Coastcare we can give them a financial helping hand.
"The end result wilI be cleaner beaches, better water quality and more abundant marine life."
Senator Hill has called for applications for Coastcare funding in 1998-99, and released a guide to make applying as simple as possible. Applications close on 26 June 1998.
A Guide to Coastcare Applications 1998-99 can be obtained from the Department of the Environment's Community Information Unit toll free on 1800 803 772. It can also be accessed on the Internet at: http://www.erin.gov.au/marine/coastcare/
Media contact - Matt Brown 02 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515
May 3, 1998