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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
and
Queensland Minister for the Environment, Local Government, Planning and Women
Desley Boyle

11 April 2006

Up to 50 per cent reductions in Moreton Bay emissions


The Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and the Queensland Minister for the Environment, Desley Boyle, today announced a new nutrient trading scheme to dramatically reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus being discharged into Moreton Bay.

A scoping study recommending the uptake of a ‘bubble’ trading scheme in the Bramble Bay area involving private and public sector nutrient emitters has just been completed, and a pilot project implementing the scheme is slated to be up and running in 2007.

“Projections show the scheme will result in reductions in 19 per cent of nitrogen and 50 per cent of phosphorus entering Moreton Bay by 2026,” Senator Campbell said.

“In a further boost to the Queensland economy, efficiencies created through the scheme are likely to result in savings of $65 million in meeting indicative 2009 water quality targets.

“This scheme is something of a landmark, and will be only the second nutrient trading scheme to be set up in Australia,” he said.

“The great thing about trading schemes is that they allow the market to reduce emissions in the most efficient way. It’s a win-win situation for industry, the environment and all those who live in and visit Brisbane,” Ms Boyle said.

Nitrogen and phosphorus are detrimental to water health in a number of ways. In particular they promote the growth of algal blooms which can be toxic to marine life and humans. Algal growth can also damage industries which rely on clean water such as fishing and oyster farming.

The Australian Government has contributed $400,000 directly to the trading scheme, and contributes $1.5 million to the Moreton Bay Water Quality Improvement Plan and supporting projects, which will update the 2001 South East Queensland Regional Water Quality Management Strategy. The Queensland Government has contributed $40,000 to the trading scheme and manages the project on behalf of both parties.

“This is a leading scheme, environmentally and economically. It is an example of one of the many practical ways we can all work together to protect and conserve our natural heritage for years to come,” Senator Campbell said.

The scoping study report is available at www.epa.qld.gov.au/environmental_management/planning_and_guidelines/environmental_economics/

Media Contact:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell’s office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
Carissa Mason (Ms Boyle’s office) 07 3227 8819

Commonwealth of Australia