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Boost for a cleaner Yarra

13 Nov 2014

Boost for a cleaner Yarra Image

The Federal Government has announced that it will pitch in $1 million over four years towards efforts to help clean up the Yarra River.

The funding will support installation of a new system of floating litter traps as well as an education initiative, “Melbourne Down Under”, promoting the marine life of Port Phillip Bay and practical actions Melburnians can take to prevent storm water pollution.

It is estimated the new and refurbished traps will remove the equivalent of 720 wheelie bins of additional litter from the river each year – a 20 per cent improvement on the existing system.

Making the announcement as part of National Water Week during October, Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the Government was proud to help improve the health of Melbourne’s much-loved waterway.

“Providing funding to improve the health of the Yarra was a key Coalition election commitment,” he said. “I am proud to announce work will soon be underway.”

“The people of Victoria care deeply about the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay and this project will help them identify ways they can contribute to their overall health.”

The project will help restore ageing infrastructure associated with the existing Parks Victoria litter trap program, which collects 500 tonnes of debris each year.

In addition to the funding, Mr Hunt said two Green Army Teams would be deployed in 2014-15 to carry our revegetation and weed control along the banks of the Yarra.

Yarra River Business Association Executive Officer Tim Bracher said while he welcomed the funding, it was a band-aid solution.

“Upstream entry of street waste into the river is still at unacceptable levels and the real solution is to stop it entering in the first place,” he said.

“Keeping Melbourne’s prime recreational asset clean and free of rubbish should be an ongoing priority, not just irregular, one-off grants from the State or Commonwealth.”

The project is expected to commence by late November.

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