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Joint Media Release
The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
&
The Hon Gail Gago MLC
South Australian Minister for Environment and Conservation

29 November 2006

Comment sought on Port waterways water quality


South Australians can have their say on a strategy to reduce pollution in the Port River and Barker Inlet following today's release of a draft Water Quality Improvement Plan by the Australian and South Australian Governments.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Greg Hunt, and South Australian Minister for Environment and Conservation, Gail Gago, today called for comment on the action plan that details sources and ways to reduce nutrient pollution in the Port waterways.

"Water quality in the Port Waterways suffer from nutrient discharges from industry and treated sewage," Mr Hunt said.

"The Australian and South Australian Governments have been working together over the past 15 years to minimize nutrient damage in these waterways. This Plan is the next step in the way forward."

The Australian Government's investment of $1.1 million from the Natural Heritage Trust funded Coastal Catchments Initiative and over $500,000 from the South Australian Government have led to the production of The Port Waterways Draft Water Quality Improvement Plan.

Prepared by the South Australian Environment Protection Authority, the Plan outlines key ways to reduce nutrients from the remaining major nutrient sources impacting on the Port waterways.

"The Plan includes an Environment Improvement Programme by Penrice Soda Products for staged reductions in nutrients over the next five years, with further reductions over a longer period," Mr Hunt said. "It also explores options for further re-use of wastewater from SA Water's Bolivar wastewater treatment plant.

"Government, industry and community partners all have steadfast commitment to restoring the Port waterways but reducing nutrient levels in the waterways will take time, the community now has clear targets to aim for, and dischargers committed to achieving them."

"The release of this draft plan provides an important opportunity for the community to have a say on restoring the health of the Port Waterways and ultimately play a part in protecting these waterways for future generations to enjoy," Mrs Gago said.

"I call on all South Australians to have their say on the best ways to do this - as residents of this beautiful state, your input will make a valuable contribution to the health of our waterways."

The Port Waterways Water Quality Improvement Plan and details on how to make a submission on the plan are available at www.epa.sa.gov.au/. Comments are due by 31 January 2007.

Media contact:
John Deller (Mr Hunt's office) on 0400 496 596
Richard Lower (Minister Gago's office) on 0419 838 646

Commonwealth of Australia