On March 11, 2020, Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, launched a $5.3 million initiative to restore waterways, rehabilitate key wetlands and protect threatened species along the Central Coast of New South Wales.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley joined the Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, to announce funding for three projects that will help protect one of the state’s most significant coastal regions:
- A $4.7 million Tuggerah Lakes project will conserve key wetland threatened species habitat, protecting local wildlife such as the critically endangered Swift parrot and the White’s seahorse. The project will restore riparian land including riverbank stabilization along Wyong River and instream and foreshore rehabilitation in the Budgewoi Lake catchment area;
- Another $300,000 for foreshore and habitat restoration at Avoca Lagoon to improve water quality and habitat for the Green frog and Golden Bell frog, and for ongoing studies into the frog population at Avoca Lagoon; and
- And $300,000 to ensure cleaner waterways along the Central Coast by supporting volunteer organisation Clean4Shore in a range of Central Coast clean-up activities within the Central Coast local government area as well as southern Lake Macquarie, Tuggerah Lakes, Wamberal, Terrigal, Avoca and Cockrone Lagoons, Brisbane Water and the Lower Hawkesbury River estuary.
“Our waterways support a network of significant ecological communities as well as a diverse range of recreational uses,” Ley said.
“Through the Environment Restoration Fund, we are working with communities to take practical action to make our environment more resilient,” she added.
Wicks said that restoring local lagoons like Avoca Lagoon, recognized their importance from an environmental and local tourism perspective.
“Our Coastal waterways and lagoons are a major part of our leisure and recreation facilities for local families as well as an important drawcard for tourists wishing to visit our region,” Wicks explained.
“This investment will protect the health of those delicate ecosystems, and also work to ensure our waterways are free from rubbish and other debris,” she concluded.
Featured photo (courtesy Government of Australia) shows Lucy Wicks (left) and Sussan Ley with Graham Johnston of Clean4Shore and students from Terrigal High School at Avoca Lagoon.