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JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT
Senator the Hon Robert Hill, Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Rod Welford, Queensland Minister for the Environment and Heritage

QUEENSLAND CONTINUES COASTAL CARE


17 May 1999

Federal Environment and Heritage Minister Robert Hill and Queensland Environment and Heritage Minister Rod Welford today jointly announced $739,000 funding for 1998-99 Coastcare projects.

Coastcare is a Natural Heritage Trust Coasts and Clean Seas program, which is delivered as a partnership between the Commonwealth, Queensland and Local Governments. The Commonwealth and State Governments fund projects on a matching basis with Commonwealth funding from the Natural Heritage Trust.

Senator Hill said the funding supports local community groups undertaking on-ground works while encouraging further community involvement in coastal protection in partnership with local government.

"This is Coastcare's fourth year in Queensland and, despite the destructive forces of recent cyclones and floods, the Queensland coast is clearly benefiting from community action under Coastcare," Senator Hill said.

"This year 60 projects in Queensland have been supported bringing the total over the four years of the program to 217.

"This large number of projects reflects the Queensland community's concern for its coastal environment. Their efforts to protect their coastline is a great example to community groups nationwide."

Mr Welford said the Coastcare program provides much needed support for efforts to conserve Queensland's coastline, including areas such as the Gulf of Carpentaria, Cape York and Torres Strait, the Whitsundays, Hervey Bay, Moreton Bay and the Gold Coast.

"This year's Coastcare projects reflect the enormous diversity of our coastal and marine environment and the initiative of coastal communities in tackling coastal management problems," Mr Welford said.

"For example, the Pormpuraaw Community Council will receive $20,364 for the rehabilitation of the Chapman River foreshore.

"Near Mossman, the Kuku Yalangi Turtle and Dugong Management and Education project will receive $20,000 to develop a strategy for sustainable management compatible with cultural traditions.

"The Mackay branch of the OUCH Volunteer group will receive $22,180 to carry out further work on the protection and monitoring of fringing reefs, and the Sunshine Coast's Coolum District Coastcare will receive $13,000 for foreshore rehabilitation and public awareness.

"The importance of seagrass habitats to the ecosystem of Hervey Bay and to the protection and management of dugongs is addressed by the Hervey Bay Dugong and Seagrass Monitoring Program which will use its $11,000 grant to monitor and collect data on seagrass in the Bay.

"While the Commonwealth and State Governments are providing matching funding for Coastcare grants, Local Government from the Gulf to the Gold Coast is supporting community groups with their individual projects," Mr Welford said.

Coastcare is a community based coastal management program designed to provide an opportunity for all members of the community to be actively involved in identifying potential and existing problems on the coast, and developing and implementing appropriate solutions in partnership with Local Government.

Coastcare is part of the Natural Heritage Trust's $125 million Coasts and Clean Seas initiative and is contributing to the conservation, sustainable use and repair of Australia's coastal and marine environments.

Applications for 1999-2000 funding from the Trust's marine component are now open. A guide to applications is available by calling Environment Australia's Community Information Unit toll free on 1800 803 772.

For more information on Coastcare projects contact the Queensland Coastcare State Coordinator, Mr Greg Miller, on 07 3227 7104.

A full list of Coastcare projects is attached.

Media contacts:
Rod Bruem (Senator Hill's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0411 128 582
Mark Flanigan (Environment Australia) 02 6274 1296 or 0411 128 571
Andrew Carroll (Rod Welford's Office) 07 3896 3688

17 May 1999

Commonwealth of Australia