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Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP

15 April 2002

Australians Invited to Contribute to Global Summit


A series of public meetings will be held nationwide this week to enable Australians to contribute to Australia's preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The Summit will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 August to 4 September 2002.

The Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, said the 65,000 Summit delegates will discuss environmental and sustainable development issues of concern to many Australians.

"The World Summit on Sustainable Development is the largest international event on the environment and sustainable development since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit," Dr Kemp said.

"Australia has been an active participant in the three preparatory meetings to date and the more focused meetings for our own region. Some of the concerns that have arisen from the Asia Pacific region include the ongoing importance of the sustainable management and protection of oceans, improving access to freshwater, poverty alleviation, an increase in access to relevant technologies, the ongoing involvement and protection of indigenous knowledge and practices and the need to comply with already existing natural resource conventions.

"There are three expected outcomes from the Summit; a political declaration by leaders, a program of agreed multilateral actions by governments and the nomination of voluntary projects involving government, the private sector and community groups.

"As part of Australia's preparations for the Summit, a second round of public consultations is about to begin in all States and Territories. The initial round was held in 2001 following the release of a Discussion Paper explaining the scope and context of the Summit and seeking broad community input into Australia's preparations.

"This round of consultations provides an opportunity for people to express their views on the Summit directly to Commonwealth officials and to exchange views and ideas with other stakeholders. Achieving sustainable development is a core goal for governments around the world and I invite Australians to take this opportunity to have their say on this crucial issue," Dr Kemp said.

Public consultation sessions will be held in all capital cities on the following dates:

SA Adelaide: 15 April 2002 NSW Sydney: 23 April 2002
WA Perth: 16 April 2002 VIC Melbourne: 1 May 2002
NT Darwin: 18 April 2002 TAS Hobart: 2 May 2002
QLD Brisbane: 22 April 2002 ACT Canberra: 3 May 2002

Interested individuals can participate in these meetings by calling (02) 6274 2389 to reserve a place. For more information on the World Summit on Sustainable Development, please call Environment Australia's Community Information Unit or visit the Environment Australia web site at: www.ea.gov.au/cooperation/international/index.html.

Media contact:
Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400

Commonwealth of Australia