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Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
Malcolm Turnbull MP
Federal Member for Wentworth

7 June 2005

On World Oceans Day it's time to clean up Sydney's ocean outfalls Mr Carr

Mr Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Mr Malcolm Turnbull, Federal Member for Wentworth, have called on the New South Wales Government to use World Oceans Day to put an end to Sydney's ocean outfalls and re-use the 400 billion litres of wastewater that is dumped off Sydney's beaches each year.

"Tomorrow is World Oceans Day and the perfect opportunity for the NSW Government to show if they are serious about the health of our oceans and ensuring a viable water supply for Sydney's future," Mr Hunt said.

"Each year, Sydney Water dumps close to 400 billion litres or 72% of its wastewater discharge as primary treated or partially treated sewage at outfalls at Manly, Bondi and Malabar and 2 billion litres of raw sewage over the cliffs below Vaucluse.

"It is the by far and away our nation's greatest environmental shame - Sydney Water dumps eight times the percentage of primary treated sewage of any other water organisation in Australia.

"Sydney is our largest city and is known the world over as a tourist icon, but Sydney Water and the NSW Government are sitting on their hands on this issue."

"Sydney is at stage 3 water restrictions and while Premier Carr lauds his green credentials he is doing nothing to stop the billions of litres of wastewater that is dumped off Sydney's coast," Mr Turnbull said.

"This is a valuable resource that could be used for industry and agriculture and take the pressure off potable water sources.

"We are the driest inhabited continent on the Earth and by 2030, Sydney is expected to have an annual shortfall of 200 billion litres of water - that's half of what is currently available if the NSW Government were to recycle or allow others to recycle Sydney's wastewater.

"It's time for the NSW Government and Sydney Water to clean up their act, end ocean outfalls and recycle the wastewater for industry and agriculture. The future of Sydney and the health of our ocean depends on it."

Media enquiries:
Fiona Murphy (Mr Hunt's office) 0423 577 045
Anthony Orkin (Mr Turnbull's office) 0410 514 542

Commonwealth of Australia