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

11 February 2000

$10M PROGRAM TO CLEAN UP URBAN WATERWAYS


Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has announced $10 million in two new Commonwealth programs to clean up urban waterways.

The Urban Stormwater Initiative has received $8.5m to support nationally significant projects improving stormwater management in major coastal cities.

Senator Hill launched the program while inspecting the Carss Bush Park project on the Georges River in Sydney's south which has already received $200,000 in Commonwealth funding.

"The Carss Bush Park project is an example of the type of stormwater improvement projects that we hope to replicate in major cities around Australia to improve the quality of run-off into coastal waterways.

"The Federal Government recognises that many waterways suffer from a range of environmental problems including pollution from stormwater and sewerage. The rivers we used to fish and swim in only decades ago are often an unhealthy concoction of algae, litter and chemicals.

The Urban Stormwater Initiative will fund innovative projects to improve the health of our waterways, creating a more healthy environment by turning wastewater into a valuable clean resource. Projects will be based on integrated approaches to long-term water quality management involving partnerships between Local, State and Commonwealth governments and the community."

Senator Hill also launched a new $1.5 million Cleaning Our Waterways - Industry Partnership Program, to help tackle industrial sources of water pollution.

"The Industry Partnership Program provides an excellent opportunity for industries to be part of the solution, not the problem. The Government will support industries to take up best practice techniques and technologies to improve water quality in our stressed urban waterways," Senator Hill said.

"Industries will be invited to work in partnership with the Government to improve water conservation, reuse and recycling, and reduce contamination from wastewater and stormwater runoff. These improvements in industrial practices will not only lead to a range of environmental and social benefits, but also present economic benefits to companies and the community as a whole.

"The selected projects will showcase the latest in industry best practice, as well as demonstrate the potential for industries across Australia to help us return our rivers to the community," Senator Hill said.

Media Contact: Rod Bruem (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364

Commonwealth of Australia