Oct 3, 2008

Cooks River Renewal Project Secures $2 Million Funding

Cooks River Renewal Project Secures $2 Million Funding

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

October 3 2008

Tony Burke MP, Anthony Albanese MP, Robert McClelland MP and John Murphy MP have today announced the Cooks River will be cleaned up as part of a project which will deliver a Rudd Labor Government $2 million election commitment to improve the health of the river.

The project aims to reverse the adverse effects of settlement, land clearing, wetland destruction and altered water flows on the Cooks River and surrounding areas.

Since European settlement, changes to the Cooks River and its catchment have had a devastating impact on wetlands, river quality and habitat loss.

This has led to a drastic reduction in the natural habitats which support a diversity of plant and wildlife, removing the natural systems that filter and break down pollutants.

With $2 million from the Rudd Labor Government, the Cooks River Urban Water Initiative will be the catalyst for an environmental renewal of this heavily urbanised catchment.

This funding contribution honours an election commitment and is part of the Rudd Labor Government’s $12.9 billion plan Water for the Future to secure the long-term water supply of all Australians.

“I look forward to seeing the positive effects on the Cooks River,” said Anthony Albanese.

Water for the Future has four key priorities: taking action on climate change, using water wisely, securing water supplies and supporting healthy rivers.

Funding for the Cooks River Urban Water Initiative is drawn from the $254.8 million National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns which is funding practical projects like pipelines, water saving infrastructure and water treatment plants.

The Cooks River project will see stormwater pollutant traps installed in priority areas to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff on the Wolli Creek Corridor. Seven wetlands will be targeted for construction, restoration, weed control and habitat enhancement.

The project will provide additional protection for the Wolli Creek Regional Park and will aim to increase the diversity of aquatic species and the return of lost species to the system.

The work will be undertaken by local councils, community groups and the Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority in conjunction with the Commonwealth.

This investment will ensure the Commonwealth Government contributes to the outstanding work being done by local residents in the remediation of this important river system.