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

QLD Strategy Launched for Murray-Darling Basin

23 April 1998

Declining water quality, land use and the health of our aquatic ecosystems are some of the key issues addressed in the new Queensland Murray-Darling Basin Regional Strategy, launched today in Toowoomba.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill says the strategy is part a major effort to protect and conserve the Murray-Darling Basin.

Senator Hill says the community-based natural resource management strategy will help set the priorities for Natural Heritage Trust spending in the region.

"The new strategy will provide guidance for targeting on-ground environmental outcomes within the Queensland region of the Murray-Darling Basin.

"It represents the shared vision of the members of the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin Coordinating Committee and the governments and communities of the region.

"Over the past 200 years we have managed to place unsustainable demands on our rivers, wetlands and their surrounding ecosystems. Protecting our natural resources is a significant regional and national challenge.

"This strategy will provide a framework for ecologically sustainable resource management throughout the Queensland Region of the Murray-Darling Basin, which will be backed up by key performance indicators.

"Valuable guidance on issues such as community involvement, cultural heritage, water allocation and quality, the conservation of threatened species and communities and vegetation clearance are provided in the strategy.

"The Howard Government's $1.25 billion Natural Heritage Trust is providing resources for governments and communities to protect and restore our precious land and water resources.

"Through the Natural Heritage Trust, investments such as the National River Health Program, Murray-Darling 2001, Rivercare and the Wetlands Program, Bushcare and Landcare are providing direct benefits for our rivers, river basins and catchment areas."

The Queensland Murray-Darling Basin Regional Strategy is available from the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin Coordinating Committee, PO Box 318 Toowoomba Qld 4350, Telephone: 07 4625 0963.

Contact: Matt Brown (Senator Hill) 02 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515
Peter Komidar (Environment Australia) 02 6250 0254

April 23, 1998 42/98

Commonwealth of Australia