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

SYDNEY URGED TO CLEAN UP ITS BEACHES FOR OLYMPICS


29 May 1999

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill today called on Sydney residents to help ensure the city's beaches are free of pollution in time for the Olympics.

"The eyes of the world will be on Sydney next year and action needs to be taken now to ensure that plastic bags, cigarettes, syringes and other discarded waste doesn't end up in streets and stormwater drains," Senator Hill said.

The call came as Senator Hill announced funding to complete a network of stormwater pollution traps along Sydney's eastern suburb beaches.

"Waverley Council will receive $228,000 from the Natural Heritage Trust to install pollution traps on stormwater outlets at Bronte. It's the last beach in the area to get these pollution devices.

"If people did the right thing with litter and followed the rules of recycling, re-using and reducing waste then it would render these expensive stormwater pollution traps unnecessary," Senator Hill said.

The Bronte stormwater trap project is one of 17 in NSW to share in a total of $2 million from the Natural Heritage Trust.

Along with the installation of gross pollutant traps, Waverley City Council will also erect signs on the coastal walk between Bronte and Bondi beaches, to alert the community about the impact on coastal and marine life of litter carelessly deposited in the stormwater system.

Eurobodalla Shire Council has received $200,000 Trust funding to increase reuse of sewage effluent from 27 per cent to 90 per cent, further minimising the effect of effluent discharge on Ryans Creek, the Moruya River and wetlands.

The Australian Catholic University will get $94,500 to identify the principle causes of saltmarsh loss in NSW, forming the basis of management plans to protect saltmarsh habitat. .

The current distribution of mangroves, saltmarsh and seagrass within the Port Hacking estuary will be monitored by a $40,812 Hacking River Catchment Management Committee project to illustrate the effect of human activity on the distribution of the estuarine vegetation

With $52,735 funding, Tuckean Landcare Group will treat exposed acid sulfate soil material and prevent further acidification to improve fisheries and aquatic habitat in Tuckean Swamp on the State's north coast.

The University of NSW will use its $63,250 Trust funding to undertake a biological study on sharks caught by the NSW Protective Beach Meshing program and recreational anglers to assess the status of shark populations in NSW waters.

Lower Taylors Arm and Macksville Landcare Group have received $6,339 funding to plant mangroves along Kings Point riverbank in a bid to stabilise the riverbank, improve water quality and encourage the regrowth of seagrasses.

"The end result of the 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 announced today are funded under the $125 million Coasts and Clean Seas initiative of the Natural Heritage Trust.

The total value of the projects is in excess of $4.4 million, with the Federal Government's contribution supplemented by funding from the New South Wales Government, local government, research institutions and non-government organisations.

Contacts:
Rod Bruem (Senator Hill's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0411 128 582
Jane Book (NSW Coasts and Clean Seas Coordinator) 02 4960 5053 or 0413 270 262
Margaret Tailby (Environment Australia) 02 6274 1466

Commonwealth of Australia