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

21 July 2000


The Howard Government has announced a major investment to deliver better water quality in Townsville's Ross Creek.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has committed $462,500 from the Commonwealth's Urban Stormwater Initiative to the Townsville CBD Urban Waterway Project.

The Federal Member for Herbert, Mr Peter Lindsay, has welcomed the announcement as a major boost for Townsville's environment.

Mr Lindsay says the project will further enhance Townsville's reputation for being an environmentally clean city to live and work in.

"Improving the environmental quality of Ross Creek is essential to our community's efforts to revitalise the Townsville Central Business District. It also impacts on the surrounding marine environment.

"We all want a cleaner river and a cleaner marine environment. This funding will allow us to tackle the problems head-on and develop responses which are suited to our tropical climate.

"The lessons we learn and the success we achieve here in Townsville will then be able to be replicated throughout tropical regions."

Senator Hill says the funding will help tackle the impact of pollution on Ross Creek through stormwater treatment, catchment management and contaminated site remediation.

"Townsville provides some different stormwater challenges to those we've experienced in southern cities - the tropical climate, heavy rainfall, combined with the nearby industrial areas.

"This new project focuses on five distinct areas in the catchment - Lakes 1 & 2, the Rail yards, Reid Park, the Stokes St CBD outfall and the Port.

"Each of these areas pose different challenges requiring a range of responses. The project will see the use of trash racks, sediment basins, relining of plastic stormwater pipes, litter booms and retention ponds.

This is a major environmental initiative being driven by the local community. Through the Urban Stormwater Initiative we have been able to provide the funding to make it a reality.

Through the $8.3 million Urban Stormwater Initiative, the Commonwealth supports projects aimed at improving Australia’s coastal waterways while demonstrating effective urban stormwater management.

As part of the Commonwealth's Living Cities, the Urban Stormwater Initiative targets improvements to urban waterway health. Other complementary urban waterway initiatives include Waterwatch and the Industry Partnership Program.

Media Contacts:
Matthew Brown (Senator Hill’s Office) 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364
Garry Reynolds (Environment Australia) 6274 1684

Commonwealth of Australia