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Tuesday, 1 February 1994
Page: 107

(Question No. 741)

Mrs Gallus asked the Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories, upon notice, on 14 December 1993:

  (1) Has her attention been drawn to claims that (a) the Patawalonga Basin in Glenelg, SA, is a polluted urban waterway which functions as a rubbish dump for the local drainage system and as a result poses a health danger to those who use it and (b) flushing of the Patawalonga creates health hazards on the beach and in the local sea water.

  (2) Has she considered federal funding measures to assist the rehabilitation of the Patawalonga.

  (3) Did the Government fulfil a 1990 election promise by providing a one-off grant of $300 000 in 1992 for cleaning up the Onkaparinga River in the electoral division of Kingston; if so, will the Government accord the same importance to cleaning up the Patawalonga in the division of Hindmarsh.

Mrs Kelly —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

  (1) Yes. I am aware that the Patawalonga Basin is polluted by urban runoff and that this pollution has potential to cause health problems and degradation on the local marine ecosystems.

  (2) No. Funds for these purposes are administered by the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy.

  (3) In June 1992 the Commonwealth Government provided $300 000 to the South Australian Government for the environmental restoration of the Onkaparinga River Estuary by the construction of an artificial wetland.

  I am advised that the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy has approved two projects related to the Patawalonga in the context of the 1993/94 Budget. Under the Healthier Rivers and Catchment elements of the National Landcare Program, $52 000 is being provided over two years for a study of silt quality, to identify sources of pollution in the catchment for the purpose of developing remedial measures. Also under the Program, $205 000 is being provided over four years, for a study to identify water quality and flow rates in the context of seasonal variations. This information will be integrated with the results of the first study. The South Australian Government is meeting the above Commonwealth contributions on a dollar-for-dollar basis.