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Cleaner beaches and protecting Ningaloo Reef: Statement by Federal Labor Leader Mark Latham: Perth: 17 September 2004.



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FEDERAL LABOR LEADER MARK LATHAM

STATEMENT BY FEDERAL LABOR LEADER MARK LATHAM

Cleaner beaches and protecting Ningaloo Reef 17 September 2004

A Federal Labor Government will work in partnership with the Western Australian Government to ensure cleaner beaches in Western Australia.

A Federal Labor Government will also seek World Heritage listing for the Ningaloo Reef, one of Western Australia’s great icons.

Cleaner beaches

The Western Australian Government and the Swan Catchment Council are investing in cleaner beaches through the collaborative Beach Health program. This program will fund the monitoring of stormwater discharge at beaches in Perth’s metropolitan area.

A Federal Labor Government will build on this work and extend the monitoring of discharge from storm water drains to beaches in Geraldton and Bunbury as well as provide grants for storm water management plans.

Labor’s $30.8 million Beaches and Coasts Policy funds practical initiatives to protect our fragile coastal environment. Funds from the Beaches and Coasts Policy will be made available to improve the quality of water at Western Australia’s major beaches.

This funding will pay for:

• Improved monitoring of discharges from major storm water drains into the ocean.

• Publication of report cards on discharges from major storm water drains for beaches in Geraldton and Bunbury (based on the Beach Health Program).

• Grants to prepare stormwater management plans to reduce pollution.

The discharge of pollutants into the ocean will be monitored against National Water Guidelines.

Report cards will be presented to community and Local Government annually to ‘rate’ the cleanliness of beaches.

Labor’s grants to prepare stormwater management plans will identify ways to improve the quality of ocean outfall or identify alternatives to ocean outfall.

These practical measures will build on the work already being done - giving beach goers the peace of mind that Governments are working together to improve water quality and strengthening the local marine environment.

Protecting Ningaloo Reef

A Federal Labor Government will support World Heritage nomination for Ningaloo Reef, protecting the Reef for future generations.

The Ningaloo is a 280 kilometre long coral reef running along the West Australian coastline, 1200km north of Perth. It’s one of the last healthy major coral reef systems in the world.

The Reef is home to an abundance of marine life including whale sharks, turtles, dugongs and manta rays. There are hundreds of species of fish and coral.

Ningaloo Reef has many World Heritage attributes. The Western Australian Government has recognised the Reef’s profound biodiversity and is currently preparing a nomination for World Heritage listing.

A Federal Labor Government, in partnership with the Western Australian Government, will move quickly to secure World Heritage listing for the Reef in its first term in Government.

PERTH 17 SEPTEMBER 2004