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Joint Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon. Dr David Kemp MP
Acting Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources
The Hon. Joe Hockey MP

17 August 2003

Water on the Agenda for Business Roundtable on Sustainable Development

Water reform was a key issue for the first Business Roundtable on Sustainable Development convened in Canberra last week by the Environment Minister, Dr David Kemp, and Acting Industry Minister, Mr Joe Hockey.

Chaired by Leon Davis, Chairman of Westpac, the roundtable brings together CEOs and senior Board members from major companies to advise the Government on sustainable development from a business perspective.

"Australia's economy relies on a healthy environment, and close cooperation between governments and industry is crucial to sustainable development," Dr Kemp said. "We are working in partnership with industry to ensure that more efficient use of natural resources and lower environmental and social risks is a 'win win' for us all."

"The Business Roundtable fulfils a commitment made by this Government at the last election," Mr Hockey said. "We made the commitment because we believe that in order to seriously address sustainable development issues, a leadership forum is necessary to engage Australian industry. Business has a crucial role to play in delivering sustainable development."

"The Roundtable will discuss what Australian industry is currently doing to achieve sustainable development and how Government can best promote greater business sustainability," said Mr Davis. "Where industry adopts sustainable development there are demonstrable benefits to both the environment and to industry's profitability. More fundamentally, in the longer term sustainability is by definition a necessary condition for every industry to stay in business. The Business Roundtable provides an avenue for industry to speak to Government about the most efficient and effective ways of encouraging sustainable development."

Mr Davis cited water reform as one of the most pressing issues for the Roundtable and the Government in promoting sustainable development.

"The leaders believe that to achieve sustainable development, Australia needs a national approach to water use," he said.

A list of roundtable members is attached.

Business Roundtable on Sustainable Development

Leon Davis, Chairman, Westpac Banking Corporation
Ken Asano, President and Chief Executive Officer, Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Ltd
David Baffsky AO, Chairman, AAPC Ltd (Accor Asia Pacific)
Peter Corish, President, National Farmers' Federation
Julie Dill, Managing Director, Duke Energy International
Gary Goldberg, Managing Director, Coal & Allied Industries
Wal King AM, Chief Executive and Group Managing Director, Leighton Holdings Ltd
Helen Lynch, Company Director
Paul Perkins, ACTEW Corporation Ltd
Tim Warren, Chairman, Shell Australia Ltd

Commonwealth of Australia