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JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT
Commonwealth Crest
Victoria - The Place To Be

Sen. Robert Hill
Minister for Environment

Ms Sherryl Garbutt
Minister for Environment and Conservation

Thursday, 25 January 2001

$2.6 million clean-up for Melbourne waterway


The Commonwealth and Victorian Governments today committed $1.25 million to a $2.6 million project to improve water quality in one of Melbourne's major waterways - the Moonee Ponds Creek.

The funding, for the Moonee Ponds Creek litter initiative, will be supported by $995,000 from Melbourne Water, $80,000 each from four local governments and $40,000 from the Melbourne Ports Corporation over the next 18 months.

Announcing the Commonwealth's $1 million contribution, Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill said: "More than three million litter items find their way into the Moonee Ponds Creek drainage system each year and much of this litter ends up in the Yarra estuary and Port Phillip Bay.

"Pollution of waterways and beaches is a hazard to fauna and flora. It reduces amenity for residents and visitors, and threatens economic activities that rely on a healthy environment.

"The project provides an opportunity to demonstrate how litter can be effectively controlled through a coordinated, catchment-based approach. It will be a model for other major coastal cities implementing stormwater management plans."

The Commonwealth's contribution is being made under the Urban Stormwater Initiative Senator Hill said.

The Victorian Minister for Environment and Conservation, Ms Sherryl Garbutt, said project works would include constructing a wetland system at the Jacana Retarding Basin in Broadmeadows and installing floating litter booms in the estuary downstream of Dynon Road.

"Reducing the amount of litter in Moonee Ponds Creek will enhance the biodiversity of the stream, the Yarra estuary and the nearby beaches, benefiting recreational users and businesses," Ms Garbutt said.

"The revitalisation of Melbourne's Docklands area, in particular, will be aided by removing unsightly litter from the waterfront."

Ms Garbutt said the project would demonstrate the benefits of cooperation across government, private enterprise, research bodies and the community.

Melbourne Water will coordinate the project, involving the Hume, Melbourne, Moonee Valley and Moreland councils, Melbourne Ports Corporation, EPA Victoria, EcoRecycle Victoria, the Clean-Up Australia Foundation and the Cooperative Research Centre for Catchment Hydrology.

The Commonwealth Government's Urban Stormwater Initiative is a $6.8 million program to enhance water quality in the waterways of major coastal cities by improving stormwater management through project partnerships with community, government and private organisations.

Different types of litter traps will be installed across the catchment and a waste reduction accreditation program will be implemented with businesses to reduce the litter entering the creek. A community awareness campaign will incorporate a major clean-up day, Waterwatch groups and school activities.

The Bracks Labor Government announced last year a $22.5 million Victorian Stormwater Action Program aimed at raising the standard of environmental management of urban stormwater across Victoria.

Media contacts:
Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill's office) 08 8237 7920 or 0419 258 364
Sally Gibson (Minister Garbutt's office) 03 9651 5799

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