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Joint Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
&
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence
Federal Member for Petrie
The Hon Teresa Gambaro MP

18 August 2004

More money for Moreton Bay


The Australian Government will spend $1.94 million to improve the quality of water in Moreton Bay.

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said today Moreton Bay was a priority area under the Government's $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust, Australia's largest environmental rescue package.

"Moreton Bay is home to populations of dugong and turtles, migratory wading birds and major recreational and commercial fisheries," he said. "These are all threatened by poor water quality, smothering of seagrass by sediments and algal blooms.

"Being a Ramsar listed wetland, Moreton Bay is a priority investment.

"This money, from the Coastal Catchments initiative , will help protect the waterway from sediments and bad nutrients. A water quality improvement plan will be drawn up and six projects funded to reduce pollutants entering Moreton Bay."

A water quality trading program is also proposed for the Logan/Albert catchment. It's an innovative approach to make sure new activities are in line with sustainability objectives - and potentially a vehicle for Governments and developers to purchase water quality improvements or credits.

The Federal Member for Petrie, Teresa Gambaro, said the Government's Coastal Catchments initiative builds on the work already done in south east Queensland to reduce excessive catchment nutrient and sediment loads to Moreton Bay.

"The water quality improvement plan and interim projects will ensure future urban growth and intensive agricultural activities will not be to the detriment of the Bay. Indeed, 'growth management' is a key issue in ecologically sustainable development, a major challenge in the rapidly developing south east region of Queensland," she said.

"The development of the plan will involve all stakeholders and communities, including land conservation and environment groups, local councils, landholders, and regional natural resource management bodies."

Senator Campbell said the plan and interim projects are excellent opportunities to build on the very considerable efforts of the Moreton Bay Waterways and Catchment Partnership and the South East Queensland Regional Water Quality Management Strategy.

"I look forward to a Plan which provides governments and the community certainty that improved water quality can be achieved, and which sets out cost-effective ways of securing this outcome."

Senator Campbell said this investment was part of a total investment of $17.6 million nationally through the Coastal Catchments Initiative, delivered during 2002-06.

For further details on the Coastal Catchments Initiative, visit www.deh.gov.au/coasts/pollution/cci

Commonwealth of Australia