Until now, only a lucky few have been able to experience first-hand the stunning array of diverse and brilliantly coloured marine life which lies beneath Port Phillip Bay.
Today, I am delighted to officially launch an illuminating documentary, Melbourne Down Under, a documentary which reveals a southern underwater world which rivals its counterparts to the north—at its world premiere in Melbourne’s Federation Square.
The Australian Government provided $50,000 under the National Landcare Programme’s Coastal River Recovery initiative for this important project.
The 42-minute documentary was produced by marine educator Sheree Marris and Streamline Media to help protect Melbourne’s Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay. The documentary gives us all a glimpse of the Bay and its fascinating inhabitants. It brings a whole new perspective on Victoria’s marine environment.
Australia’s southern seas are home to seaweed forests, sponge gardens, seagrass meadows and more than 12,000 different types of plants and animals, including Victoria’s magnificent marine emblem—the weedy seadragon.
More than 80 per cent of the marine plant and animal species found in our southern waters, including the weedy seadragon, are found nowhere else on earth.
This documentary and the work Sheree is doing with local schools on the lower Yarra promotes practical actions that Melbournians can take to prevent stormwater pollution.
It is a great example of what the National Landcare Programme is achieving – practical solutions by local people to achieve long-term results for our environment.
The Australian Government is investing $2 billion to help support better natural resource management across Australia.
We have committed $1 million to improve water quality in Melbourne’s Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay. This includes $50,000 for the Cleaning up the Yarra Community Education project to help educate the community about the importance of keeping the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay clean.
The Government also provided $950,000 to renew, expand, and improve the effectiveness of the litter trap system on the lower Yarra.