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

5 November 2001

Multi-million-dollar Plan to Clean Up the Para

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill today announced a multi-million-dollar project would soon be underway to reuse winery and town effluent in the Barossa Valley.

Senator Hill said the $3.8 million project, supported by $810,000 in Commonwealth funding, would see up to 800 mega litres of effluent removed from the North Para River each year and reused on vineyards.

"This innovative project will prevent many thousands of litres of nutrient-rich winery and town effluent from entering local waterways which eventually flow into Gulf St Vincent," Senator Hill said.

"The effluent will instead be treated then reused to water vineyards. It is a scheme which will provide a major win for the environment, not only by cleaning up the North Para River and Gulf St Vincent but also by reducing pressure on already tight water resources."

Cleanaway, an enterprise of Brambles Australia, is overseeing the project, which also involves Southcorp, Tarac, North Para Environment Control, Barossa Council, Cellarmaster Wines and Langmeil Wines.

Effluent from a cluster of wineries and also the Nuriootpa town scheme will be treated and reused in the initial stages. Currently the town effluent is held in treatment lagoons and disposed of by a combination of evaporation and release to North Para River, adjacent to the lagoon site.

Senator Hill said the new facility would be built on land presently used for open aerobic lagoons treating wastewater from Southcorp Winery and Tarac Distillery. These lagoons would cease operation.

"The Barossa Valley is a premier viticulture region in South Australia but it is under intense pressure from vegetation clearance, irrigation, wastewater disposal and a limited amount of water. This project involves industry, government and communities working together to find better ways to deal with wastewater so we can protect the environment for all those living and working in the Barossa Valley."

Tuesday, November 5, 2001

Media Contact:
Belinda Huppatz 8237 7920 or 0419 258364

Commonwealth of Australia