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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage

13 April 1999

YOUNG SCIENTIST OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED


Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, this evening announced the winner of the prestigious Young Scientist of the Year Award and the Australian winner of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize at the Australian Water and Wastewater's Associations (AWWA) 18th Annual Federal Convention at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

"I am pleased to announce that Ms Fiona Dyer from the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Catchment Hydrology is the 1999 Young Scientist of the Year for her outstanding research paper, Identifying the sources of Sediment and Associated Phosphorous for Tarago River."

The Young Scientist of the Year Award recognises an outstanding post graduate researcher working within the water industry. Fiona was selected as this year's winner from over 150 participants, and will receive a cheque for $2,000.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize is an international water competition for school students. The national winner receives $500 for their school and will be flown to Stockholm later in the year to represent Australia.

"I am pleased to announce that the inaugural Australian winner of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize is Jonathan Duniam, 16 years, from Marist Regional College Tasmania for his project The Habitat Assessment for the Burnie Burrowing Crayfish on Shorewell Creek Burnie."

"I understand it was a very difficult decision with Jonathan just edging out Rosalin Moore, 12 years, from Wesley College in Victoria, and Andrew Noske, 16 years, from Smithfield State High in North Queensland."

Mrs Stone commended the level of support, encouragement and 'industry-ready training' that the water industry, through the AWWA and CRC Water Forum, offered young students and researchers.

"It is vitally important that we raise awareness about the need to sustainably manage and conserve Australia's precious water resources throughout the community. Learning how to establish sustainable water usage patterns at an early age is vital for the future of agricultural, industrial and urban development, household and recreational use and most importantly, the long-term health of the environment," Sharman Stone said.

Australia is the driest continent on the planet, and has the highest per capita storage capacity of any country - the equivalent of 3 olympic sized swimming pools for every man, woman and child.

"The consequences of inappropriate water usage can be devastating," Mrs Stone said. "For example, around 2.5 million hectares of land in Australia is plagued by salinity, a legacy of rising regional water tables caused by inappropriate levels of land clearing."

"Sadly, we are also losing our precious rare native fish, snails, frogs and riverine vegetation at an alarming rate."

Mrs Stone commended the all participants and winners who were honoured for their passion, commitment and scientific excellence in the field of environmental management.

"With these young people at the helm, the future of water management in Australia is in safe hands," Mrs Stone said.

The South Australian Department of Primary Industries and Resources was also honoured with the Water Environment Merit Award 1999 for their Aquifer Storage and Recovery projects at Clayton, Andrews farm and 'The Paddocks'.

For further information please contact:
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415

Commonwealth of Australia