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Healthy streams for north-east Queensland



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Media Release John A ndersonHEALTHY STREAMS FOR NORTH-EAST QUEENSLAND DPIE98/92A 30th July 1998

The health of North-East Queensland's streams and rivers is set to improve with the release today of a new publication by the Federal Minister for Primary Industries & Energy, John Anderson.

Mr Anderson made the announcement on the banks of the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton accompanied by the Member for Capricomia, Paul Marek.

Stream Stabilisation for Rehabilitation of North-East Queensland Coastal Streams provides comprehensive information on how best to manage the streams of the area for both human and ecological advantage.

The publication is based on many years research at James Cook University, Townsville, funded through the Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation (LWRRDC) and the National Landcare Program, with support from the Queensland Department of Primary Industries, local government and river improvement trusts.

Mr Anderson said the rivers of the region contribute significantly to the local economy by supporting irrigated agriculture and a large fishing industry, as well as providing the basic water resource for the population.

"The combination of natural and human pressures placed on these rivers can lead to problems such as widespread flooding, erosion of streambanks and loss of valuable land, habitat degradation, and threats to infrastructure such as roads, bridges and buildings," he said.

"Our challenge is to manage these streams for productive use while maintaining their health.

"To date, their management has largely been based on practices developed overseas or for southern Australian conditions. In many cases, these have not been appropriate to the tropical climate or particular characteristics of the coastal streams, with disappointing results."

" The Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust is funding a number of community projects for rivers in north-east Queensland and this publication provides valuable information to help those communities achieve lasting results."

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Parliament House. Canberra ACT 2600 Tel: (06) 277 7520 Fax: (06)273 4120

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The new publication identifies some of the primary problems and causes of river degradation, and treatments and management techniques. It recognises that sustainable use of streams depends on a range of factors such as geology, hydrology, climate, ecology, sociology, culture and economics.

Mr Anderson said the publication is a practical expression of the assistance being provided through the Natural Heritage Trust to local communities wishing to improve resource management.

Media Contact: Robert Haynes 0262777520/0419493511

Further information:

Mr Ross Kapitzke, School of Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, Ph: 07 4781 4810 Fax: 07 4775 1184 Email: ross.kapitzke@jcu.edu.au OR Dr Phil Price, LWRRDC, Canberra,Ph: 07 6257 3379 Fax: 02 6257 3420 Email: phil@lwrrdc.gov.au

Copies of the report ($20) and a free summary brochure of the study are available from the DPIE Shopfront, Freecall 1800 020 157.