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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

National Environmental Indicators

25 September 1996

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill says the release of the landmark 1996 State of the Environment Report has helped lay the groundwork for the development of environmental indicators.

Environmental indicators are simple measures that summarise information about complex systems. They are used in much the same way as economic indicators are used to Report on the state of the economy.

Measured repeatedly over time the indicators will allow scientists to identify and report on important trends affecting our environment.

Senator Hill says the development of environmental indicators will require a national effort.

"A national set of indicators will provide the tools by which all decision makers can assess whether their environmental management is adequate and whether we are using our natural resources sustainably.

"The Federal Government will work with the States and Territories, local government, and scientific and community groups to ensure the national indicators are relevant, useful and practical."

Senator Hill says the Department of the Environment is coordinating the important task of developing relevant indicators.

"Expert organisations and individuals are being commissioned by the Department to assist in the development process.

"Additional funding in the recent Budget will allow for enhanced monitoring of environmental conditions, such as water and air quality which will support the indicators' work."

"Monitoring of indicators will provide the basis for assessing the success of society's responses to environment problems and assist in developing more appropriate responses where necessary."

Contact: Matt Brown (Minister) 06 277 7640
Tracey Bell (Department) 06 274 1966

Commonwealth of Australia