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With more help from Coastcare, communities are protecting and repairing precious marine and coastal areas along the Queensland coast.

Federal Environment and Heritage Minister Robert Hill and Queensland Environment Minister Dean Wells today announced $523,231 funding for 38 coastal and marine protection projects throughout Queensland.

The Ministers said these new projects reaffirmed the community's involvement in playing a leading role in maintaining and enhancing their local coastal environment, with financial support from government underpinning their efforts.

"We are pleased to announce successful projects including a grant of $29,830 to the Point Lookout Surf riders Club for on-ground work at North Stradbroke Island's Cylinder Beach. The project will provide safe above ground access through the forest to the beach and large pockets of invasive weeds will be removed and replanted with indigenous species," Senator Hill said.

"The Indo-Pacific Sea Turtle Conservation Group has received $9820 funding to monitor flatback and green turtle nesting sites in the Townsville coastal region and to conduct community education activities to build awareness of turtle conservation issues.

"With $25,000 funding the Rirrmerr Aboriginal Corporation will remove rubbish, such as drums, nets, crab pots and vehicles from Princess Charlotte Bay, islands and waterways. The group will also monitor human impacts on the marine environment and develop strategies for future management of the area's natural and cultural environment."

The Ministers said the projects that had received funding in this latest round demonstrated how communities working with governments and other groups could make a real difference on the ground to improving their local environment.

"In this International Year of the Volunteer, we congratulate all Coastcare volunteers for their important contribution towards protecting our environmental future," Minister Wells said

"Since 1995, thousands of Coastcare volunteers in Queensland have been working to solve local environmental problems by revegetating dunes, erecting fences, removing weeds and feral animals, improving beach access, conducting marine awareness raising activities and efforts to protect endangered marine species.

"Over the past 5 years, close to 252 projects in the State have been supported by Coastcare. This adds up to over $3.3 million in funding and tens of thousands of volunteer hours to help protect and care for our coast."

Coastcare is implemented as a partnership between the Commonwealth, State/Territory and local governments. Commonwealth funding is provided through the Natural Heritage Trust's Coasts and Clean Seas initiative and is matched by the Queensland Government. Successful applicants and local management agencies also contribute to the cost of projects and provide "in kind" assistance.

A sample list of Queensland funded projects is attached. For more information on projects in your local area, please contact the Qld Coastcare Coordinator, Bob Hearle on (07) 3227 6806.

March 14, 2001

Media enquiries:
Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill's office) (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364
Alex Wake (Minister Wells' Office) (07) 3225 1819 or 0408 727 915

Commonwealth of Australia