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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

$1.48 MILLION TO PROTECT VICTORIAN COASTS


Treated waste water destined for the ocean off Geelong will be used instead to maintain a golf course under one of 14 Victorian projects to receive $1.48 million from the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust.

The Anglesea Golf Club has received $189,000 to construct a pipeline to divert waste water from the Barwon Water Sewage Treatment Plant ocean outfall to the Geelong Club's fairways and greens.

In its first year, the project will enable around 50 million litres of treated effluent to be reused.

Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage Robert Hill announced the projects today.

"Through Coasts and Clean Seas the Howard Government is supporting a range of projects that use innovative technology and promote the reuse and better treatment of waste water," Senator Hill said.

"The diversion of treated waste water to the Anglesea Golf Club is one example of how to turn an environmental problem into an economic resource.

"The project will improve coastal water quality and help conserve water supplies, providing a model for ecologically sustainable reuse of treated effluent."

Other projects funded today will address stormwater and waste water pollution, marine biodiversity and water quality issues along the Victorian coast.

The South Gippsland Region Water Authority has received $300,000 funding to build a trade waste treatment plant, enhance existing domestic treatment plants and upgrade an existing ocean outfall.

With the help of $250,000 from the Trust, the South Gippsland Shire Council will construct a reticulated sewerage system for the village of Waratah Bay near Wilson's Promontory, a popular holiday destination.

The East Gippsland Management Authority has received $80,000 to build on the success of another Trust project in the East Gippsland region. Estuarine monitoring will be established in West Gippsland, from Anderson's Inlet in the west to Mallacoota Inlet in the east, to record water quality changes throughout the system.

The Marine and Freshwater Resources Institute has received $80,000 to identify the causes of a major decline in seagrass cover in Swan Bay over the past 10 years and recommend changes to activities in the catchment that are needed to ensure the seagrass recovers.

The Phillip Island Nature Park has received $76,170 to eradicate foxes using a technique developed in Victoria, in an effort to increase the survival of Little Penguins, Hooded Plovers and other seabirds on the island.

"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 $4,687,162 dedicated to clean seas, coastal monitoring and marine species protection projects in Victoria.

In the cooperative spirit of the Trust, the Federal Government's 1999-2000 contribution will be boosted by $15.7 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
Sally Burgess (Victorian Coasts and Clean Seas Coordinator) 03 9412 4912
Conall O'Connell (Environment Australia) 02 6274 1466

Commonwealth of Australia