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

AUSTRALIA'S ENVIRONMENT IN GOOD SHAPE: OECD


8 April 1998
(37/98)

The first ever OECD Review of Australia's environment confirms that the Howard Government's environment policies and programs are on the right track.

Environment Minister Robert Hill says the Review highlights Australia's significant achievements in partnership-based natural resource and environmental management.

"The Review finds that Australia has established sound policies for managing biological diversity, for protecting its World Heritage Areas and for increasing terrestrial protected areas from about five to almost eight percent of its land area.

"It also reports that the Howard Government's Natural Heritage Trust is working to ensure sustainability of land, water, coastal and marine resources in partnership with State, Territory and local government and through Landcare and other community-based programs."

Regional Forest Agreements are reported as 'forward thinking' while air pollution management and the increased use of natural gas are improving urban air quality.

Internationally, the Review finds the Australian Government is now in the forefront of environmental protection in regional and global forums:

Other areas commended in the Review include:

Senator Hill said Australia is undertaking activities which address many of the OECD recommendations including:

On the global challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Senator Hill said the Prime Minister's statement of initiatives totalling $180 million late last year including the establishment of the Australian Greenhouse Office will ensure that Australia meets its international obligations.

The full OECD report can be purchased from DA Information Services (03 9210 7777).

The conclusions and recommendations will be available on the Internet at www.environment.gov.au/net/oecd.html

Media Contact - Matt Brown on (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515

April 8, 1998 (37/98)

Commonwealth of Australia