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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

The Hon Tony Burke MP
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Coastal wetlands benefit from $500,000 Reef Rescue boost

Joint media release
2 February 2009

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As part of World Wetlands Day 2009, Environment Minister Peter Garrett and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry today announced a $500,000 funding boost for wetlands along the Great Barrier Reef coast.

The funding is part of the Rudd Government's Reef Rescue initiative, under Caring for our Country.

Caring for our Country is taking a new, coordinated approach to environmental management in Australia, built on a set of consistent national targets.

The Ministers said Reef Rescue was helping natural resource management groups, government and non-government organisations, industry and farmers in the reef's catchment to work together to protect and improve local wetlands.

"Wetlands in coastal catchments are vital to the health of the Great Barrier Reef," Mr Garrett said.

"Like the kidneys of the environment, wetlands play such an important role in filtering water moving from the catchment into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon, absorbing pollutants, providing habitat and on the coast, wetlands also help protect our shores from wave action."

Mr Burke said farmers already understood the importance of improved land management practices and were leading the way.

"Farmers will be the first affected by climate change and they will continue to adapt the latest research and development to improve sustainability on-farm," he said.

"Many of Queensland's wetlands are situated on private land so the Rudd Government will continue to support landholders in managing those wetland systems."

Other wetland activities funded by the Rudd Government through Reef Rescue include projects in the Wet Tropics, Burdekin and Burnett Mary regions, delivered in partnership with peak agricultural industry groups and non-government organisations such as Wetland Care Australia. These projects are helping land managers to integrate wetland management activities into their farm management systems.

For further information go to www.nrm.gov.au 

Commonwealth of Australia