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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
5 August 2004
Australia's environment is fully protected and under no threat from the US Free Trade Agreement, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.
He said claims by Greens Senator Bob Brown that the agreement threatened to undermine environmental protection was baseless.
"There is nothing in the FTA that requires any changes to our environmental laws or effects Australia's ability to regulate or set standards to protect the environment," Senator Campbell said.
"The report by the Centre for International Economics on the environmental impacts of the FTA, commissioned by the Government, showed that no adverse effects would arise.
"The Howard Government has invested $7.7 billion into improving and protecting Australia's environment.
"Such investment, made possible as a result of the Howard Government's sound economic management, can only lead to a healthier environment.
"Any suggestion by Senator Brown or anybody else that the Government would put any aspects of the environment at risk is ludicrous."