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

23 December 1999

TRUST INJECTS $1M INTO WA COASTAL PROTECTION


Urban and industrial stormwater pollution will be reduced and vulnerable bird and turtles species will be protected in Western Australia through projects that have received $1.038 million from the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust.

Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage Senator Robert Hill announced funding today for nine projects under the Trust's Coasts and Clean Seas initiative.

"Through Coasts and Clean Seas the Howard Government is supporting projects using innovative technology and promoting better treatment and reuse of waste water," Senator Hill said.

The Waters and Rivers Commission has received $134,750 to construct three wetlands at Denmark, Albany and Mt Barker on the Rainbow Coast and Albany hinterland.

The wetlands will act as urban stormwater management demonstration sites. The three sites will utilise different approaches to water depth, detention periods, vegetation type and monitoring requirements.

The commission has been given a further $165,000 to design a drainage system to reduce sediment and nutrient inputs from the Albany district into Wilson Inlet, Torbay Inlet and Princess Royal Harbour.

These two projects are part of a wider strategy to reduce nutrient levels, improve stormwater quality and halt the decline of seagrass across the Albany catchment.

Other projects funded focus on improving management of industrial stormwater at Kwinana and Exmouth.

CSIRO Land and Water receives $246,864 to quantify, map and remediate the flow of contaminated groundwater to Cockburn Sound and to refine an innovative clean up treatment to protect the Sound from nutrient discharge.

The Shire of Exmouth has been granted $186,500 to reduce groundwater pollution from waste water disposal to improve treated waste water reuse, thereby conserving potable water supplies.

Several projects addressing marine biodiversity have also been funded.

The Department of Conservation and Land Management has received $18,350 to eliminate rats and reduce weeds on Shelter Island, Eclipse Island, Mistaken Island, Breadsea Island and Michaelmas Island in the Southern Ocean off the Albany coast to protect seabird populations.

Murdoch University has received $61,000 to track green and hawkesbill turtles from their nesting areas on the north west shelf to feeding grounds. The data will then be used to identify threats to the turtles and map nesting sites, migration routes and feeding grounds.

"The end result of all these exciting projects will be cleaner beaches, improved water quality and a better understanding of the impact of human and natural activities on marine biodiversity," Senator Hill said.

The projects are funded under the Natural Heritage Trust's $141 million Coasts and Clean Seas initiative to support the conservation, repair and sustainable use of Australia's coastal and marine environment.

This latest round of Coasts and Cleans Seas funding brings to a total of $4,460,312 dedicated to clean seas, coastal monitoring and marine species protection projects in Western Australia.

In the cooperative spirit of the Trust, the Federal Government's 1999-2000 contribution will be boosted by $3.14 million from State and local governments and the community.

A list of funded projects is attached.

Media contacts:
Rod Bruem (Senator Hill's Office) 02 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364
John Braid (WA Coasts and Clean Seas Coordinator) 08 9264 7835
Conall O'Connell (Environment Australia) 02 6274 1466

Commonwealth of Australia