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Media Release
Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage


5 June 2001

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, 5 JUNE 2001

NATIONAL COASTAL RESCUE PROGRAM CAUSES A SPLASH!


As the world celebrated the International Year of the Volunteers in over 100 countries on World Environment Day 2001, Australia today launched the largest national business-community partnership to address the issue of coastal rehabilitation and protection.

The program - Shell Coastal Volunteers - unveiled at St.Kilda Beach, Melbourne, inaugurates an exciting new environmental initiative between Shell Australia and Conservation Volunteers Australia, that will help improve the management of Australia's coasts and oceans - a zone that supports almost 86 per cent of the Australian population.

Speaking at the launch, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone said that Shell Australia and Conservation Volunteers Australia were tackling environmental problems in partnership with the local community.

"Coastal issues such as such as pollution, threats to marine species and habitat degradation are all serious problems needing urgent attention", Sharman Stone said.

"Australians have almost loved some of our superb, golden beaches to death. Certainly many are badly eroded, weed choked and bristling with rubbish. This new program; Shell Coastal Volunteers, will see community groups apply some tender loving care where it is urgently needed", she said.

Shell Australia is contributing nearly $1 million to Shell Coastal Volunteers. The program has a value of more than $2 million, including volunteer involvement. Shell Coastal Volunteers will undertake 100 urban and regional projects per year - from the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland to the coast around Hobart - that will tackle pollution problems and threats to Australia's beautiful coastlines.

Shell Coastal Volunteers will involve more than 12,000 volunteer days - facilitating on-the-ground assistance to coastal rehabilitation - providing community groups, government agencies, local governments and other land managers with a labour resource in the form of teams of volunteers.

The project teams will undertake a wide range of practical activities addressing coastal rehabilitation and protection such as weed removal, access control, revegetation, seed collection and flora and fauna surveys.

"To commemorate our centenary, Shell is proud to have entered into a three-year partnership with Conservation Volunteers Australia to help protect and rehabilitate several hundred of Australia's significant coastal locations," said Peter Duncan, Chairman of Shell Australia.

"We believe the Shell Coastal Volunteers program is in line with our strong public commitment to embed sustainable development into our business at all levels worldwide," he said.

Conservation Volunteers Australia, the country's largest practical conservation organisation, will manage thousands of volunteers in locally based conservation activities during the three-year Shell Coastal Volunteers program.

David Clark, President of Conservation Volunteers Australia, called for local communities, councils and national parks to nominate coastal projects.

"The program will deliver support to remote communities seeking to manage coastal issues and provide assistance to community groups in urban and regional Australia," he said.

During 2001, Victoria will host 11 Shell Coastal Volunteer projects, South Australia and Northern Territory 26, Tasmania 10, Western Australia 17, New South Wales 11 and Queensland 25.

Upcoming projects include Port Macquarie, NSW, where teams of volunteers will be removing noxious weeds, improving walking tracks and stormwater run-off; while in late June volunteers will be monitoring turtles and fitting satellite tags, assisting in the protection of an important sea turtle feeding and breeding habitat at Bare Sand Island, NT.

For further information (not for publication) please contact:

Tammy Tucker Jenny Odgers
Team Leader Manager, Shell Foundation in Australia>
Wright Business Marketing Shell Australia
Telephone: +613 9690 9911 Telephone: +613 9666 2292
Mobile: 0438 147 598 Mobile: 0417 121 507

Phil Harrison Simon Frost
Director Corporate and Government Affairs Office of Dr Stone
Conservation Volunteers Australia Mobile: 0419 495 468
Telephone: +613 5333 1483
Mobile: 0404 828 901


NB: Visit http://www.photobank.com.au/r297/index.htm - from 2PM (Eastern Standard Time) for print quality image downloads of the Shell Coastal Volunteers launch.

Commonwealth of Australia