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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
&
Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water
The Hon David Llewellyn MHA

30 August 2006

Tasmanian water quality initiative commences


A new initiative to improve water quality in Tasmania has been announced today by the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and the Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water, David Llewellyn.

The Tasmanian River Catchment Water Quality Monitoring Initiative is part of the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement and is scheduled to finish in mid-2008.

“Tasmania’s disease-free status and reputation for clean air and water is very important to both the Australian and Tasmanian governments,” Senator Campbell said.

“This water quality initiative will help protect this status, and the marketing advantage it gives Tasmanian agriculture, by identifying chemical use in Tasmania’s primary production industries and assess its likelihood to affect water quality in Tasmania’s river catchments,” he said.

Mr Llewellyn said the initiative would lead to a better understanding of the fate of agricultural and forestry chemicals in the Tasmanian environment.

“This initiative is a response to Tasmanian community and industry concerns about the level of chemical usage and of the impacts of chemical pollution on industry, human health and the environment in Tasmania,” Mr Llewellyn said.

“This knowledge will be used to identify priorities for ongoing monitoring programs and to inform decisions about how, when and where particular chemicals can be used more safely in Tasmanian conditions,” he said.

The information collected through the initiative will be used to customise the CSIRO’s Pesticide Impact Rating Index (PIRI) for Tasmania. This adaptation of the PIRI software to Tasmanian conditions will lead to an improved understanding of water quality management needs in Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement, announced on 13 May 2005, is a joint commitment of the Australian and Tasmanian Governments to enhance protection of Tasmania's forest environment and growth in the Tasmanian forest industry and forestry jobs. The Governments are committing over $250 million to revitalise the timber industry and preserve old-growth forests.

“As part of this Agreement the Australian Government is providing $1 million for the Tasmanian River Catchment Water Quality Initiative, drawing on CSIRO expertise, and delivered jointly with the Tasmanian Government,” Senator Campbell said.

Further information on the Tasmanian River Catchment Water Quality Monitoring Initiative is available at www.dpiw.tas.gov.au

Information on the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement is at www.daff.gov.au/content/output.cfm?ObjectID=498CD7FB-3F4B-491F-86F3B9ACDBF56974

Media contacts: Rob Broadfield (Senator Campbell’s office) 02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902
Shaun Rigby (Mr Llewellyn’s office) 03 6233 2451 or 0438 021 936

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