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Commonwealth Government Wetlands Inventory - 2001

It is well recognised that wetlands play an important role in maintaining biological diversity. They also perform vital functions such as water purification, nutrient retention, maintenance of water tables, storm protection, flood mitigation,shoreline stabilisation, erosion control, and groundwater recharge—all of which are important for Australia’s unique natural resources and landscape. Wetlands also provide for social and cultural wellbeing and, if managed wisely, they can provide economic benefits. The special values and functions of wetlands can only be maintained if ecological processes are allowed to continue to function. Unfortunately, wetlands are amongst the most threatened ecosystems worldwide due largely to destructive practices such as draining, infilling, pollution and overexploitation of their resources. In order to prevent further loss of important wetland habitat in Australia, building and maintaining a comprehensive inventory of our wetlands is crucial so that we gain a better understanding of their values and location.