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Joint Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
Minister for Environment and Conservation South Australia
Hon John Hill

19 December 2002

$370,000 to Protecting the SA Port Waterways

Today's announcement by the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and the South Australian Minister for Environment and Conservation, Mr John Hill, that $370,000 will be provided for the development of a Water Quality Improvement Plan for Adelaide's Port Waterways is great news for South Australian waterways.

The project will focus on the Port River Estuary and Barker Inlet, an important breeding ground for fish, as well as providing habitat for migratory bird species and dolphins.

"This project is the first under the Commonwealth Government's Natural Heritage Trust Coastal Catchment Initiative, that aims to reduce pollution in coastal waters," Dr Kemp said.

"I am particularly delighted that with support from the Commonwealth and State governments this project to address important water quality issues in Adelaide will be undertaken in association with local government and industry."

Minister for Environment and Conservation, John Hill said excessive nutrient loads are a major problem in the Port River Estuary and have already resulted in frequent 'red-tides' of potentially toxic algae. In the past this has resulted in temporary bans on taking shellfish and fish from the Port River.

"The Port River estuary receives nutrients from many sources. The Water Quality Improvement Plan will determine what is an ecologically sustainable level and how we can achieve and maintain this level of water quality into the long term. It will also identify any necessary regulatory, planning or management reforms for ongoing water quality protection," John Hill said.

"The sources of nutrients include discharges from industrial activities and contaminated storm water. The plan will determine what these discharges are at present, what these discharges must be reduced to in order to protect the Port Waterways, and what subsequent management actions will be most cost-effective".

"The next phase of the Water Quality Improvement Plan will be to fund important projects and ensure that urban and industrial development is managed in a way that maximises our investment and provides long term solutions."

Media Contacts:
Mr Hill's office Nick Talbot (08) 8463 3463 or 0422 004 434
Dr Kemp's office Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400

Commonwealth of Australia