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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

20 September 2002

National Salinity Roundtable for Mildura

A national roundtable conference in Mildura on 27-30 October will focus on Australia’s battle against increasing salinity and decreasing water quality, the Federal Minister for Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and Minister Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss, announced today.

The $1.4 billion National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality, a joint Commonwealth, State and Territory program, is Australia’s first comprehensive national strategy to tackle salinity and the deteriorating water quality which threaten to affect the social, economic and environmental well-being of all Australians.

About 200 specialists, on-the-ground experts and planners from 21 priority regions around Australia will take part in the roundtable discussions.

“Mildura is an irrigation district on the Murray River and an ideal location for Roundtable field trips to investigate salinity and water quality projects,” Mr Truss said.

“The Roundtable workshops will showcase selected regions and strengthen the links between practitioners, policy developers and programs managers.”

Mr Truss also said the workshop topics would include planning processes, community engagement tools, standards and target setting, and investment strategies.

Dr Kemp said the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality was making good progress, with on-ground works, regional planning or capacity building underway in most of the 21 priority regions.

“In a country with such diverse climates and landscape varieties, the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality Roundtable is a great opportunity for people working in the fields of salinity and water quality to share skills and experiences,” Dr Kemp said.

Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson will open the conference on 27 October and other Federal and State Ministers are also planning to attend.

Details of the conference will be available on the internet at from 29 August.

Media contacts:
Tim Langmead Mr Truss’s office (02) 6277 7520 or 0418 221 433
Catherine Job Dr Kemp’s office (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400

Commonwealth of Australia