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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Environment, Local Government, Planning and Women
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    $32.8million for cleaner seas in Cairns

    Minister for Environment, Local Government, Planning and Women
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    Friday, October 07, 2005

    $32.8million for cleaner seas in Cairns

    The Beattie Government will provide $32.8million to kick-start Cairns City Council's "Cleaner Seas" project, which will cater for the city's growth while keeping local waterways clean.

    Local Government and Planning Minister and Member for Cairns Desley Boyle said she was pleased to be able to provide Cairns City Council with subsidies of more than $32.8million towards four sewerage treatment plant upgrades with a combined estimated cost of $82 million.

    Ms Boyle said the Cleaner Seas project would see major upgrades at the Northern, Southern, Edmonton and Marlin Coast wastewater treatment plants to increase their capacity and improve performance.

    "Cairns is the gateway to one of the most beautiful and environmentally-significant landscapes in the world - the Great Barrier Reef - and it is essential we do everything possible to protect this World Heritage treasure," Ms Boyle said.

    "This project has been designed with the key focus on sustainable growth for the future.

    "When completed, the treatment plants will be better equipped to service Cairns' burgeoning population, which is estimated to grow to more than 141,600 people by 2010.

    "The upgrades will also reduce the impact of treated wastewater on the region's surrounding waterways," Ms Boyle said.

    Ms Boyle - also Environment Minister - said she was pleased the upgrades would see the council adopt the Biological Nutrient Removal processes, which was considered to be the best and cleanest way to treat sewerage.

    "This process will see microscopic bugs break down more nitrogen and phosphorus - nutrients which can encourage algae to grow," she said.

    Ms Boyle said the works were scheduled to start early in 2006 and continue until all four treatment plants were upgraded.

    The treatment plants are at: Swallow Rd, Edmonton; Greenbank Rd, Stratford; McGregor Rd, Smithfield and; Maconachie St, Woree.

    The funding was granted under the State Government's Local Governing Bodies' Capital Works Subsidy Scheme.

    Since 1998, the Queensland Government has provided Cairns City Council with more than $16million from the Local Government and Planning portfolio.


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