2009 Case Study: Protecting the Coast in Geelong

There was excellent news for Geelong in 2009, with a joint project between Alcoa Point Henry and Greening Australia receiving significant funding through the Federal Government’s ‘Caring for our Country’ initiative.

The ‘Moolapio’ project began in 2006 and is focused on 500 hectares of Alcoa’s land at Point Henry in Geelong.  The site contains a diverse range of landforms, including rare foreshore habitats, to expansive saline and freshwater wetlands, to agricultural land. Together Alcoa and Greening Australia are conserving, enhancing and restoring the flora and fauna of the area.

In 2008, Moolapio was awarded the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Award for ‘best specific environmental initiative’.

Richard Marles MP said the Government was impressed by the partnership between Alcoa and Greening Australia: “This funding will benefit the entire Geelong community by providing extra funding to protect what is one of the finest remnant areas of coastal saltmarsh in the region.

“Since forming the Moolapio partnership, a number of rare and endangered birds have been sighted here, including brolgas using the wetland areas as a flocking site. 

“A walking trail through the wetlands with an education and interpretation focus will provide the community the ability to use the area for recreation while providing protection for one of our most important areas.”

Alcoa Point Henry Plant Manager Stewart Esdale said: “Protecting and preserving the environment is a core element of Alcoa’s commitment to sustainability.
“Having the Federal Government support a voluntary initiative such as this shows true commitment to restoration and protection of our coastline.”