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

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION NOT JUST RESPONSIBILITY OF GOVERNMENTS


14 January 1999

The Federal Government is encouraging the non-government sector to play a greater role in the provision of environmental education.

Speaking at an environmental education conference in Sydney, Federal Environment and Heritage Minister Senator Hill says education activities by the public and private sectors are a major part of the solution to the environmental issues facing Australia.

Senator Hill has released a discussion paper on environmental education for public comment which raises the need to link Australia's overall environmental education effort with the nation's environmental priorities.

The paper, Today Shapes Tomorrow, is a first step towards the development of a Ministerial Statement on Environmental Education.

"Just as a lack of education has contributed to many of the environmental problems Australia now faces, education is a vital part of the solution.

"A well informed public which appreciates the links between the health of Australia's environment and our economy, culture and patterns of behaviour is an essential prerequisite to achieving sustainable development in Australia.

"The environmental challenges facing Australia are numerous and complex and governments alone cannot inform and educate the public about them.

"The discussion paper therefore flags some priorities for educators in the community, including incorporating industry and other non-government organisations more fully in the development and provision of environmental education.

"Stakeholders have the opportunity to contribute to the development of the Ministerial Statement and in doing so to the future direction of environmental education activities in this country."

The closing date for public comment is Friday 12 March 1999.

The discussion paper is available from the Environment Australia Community Information Unit on toll free 1800 803 772.

Contact:
Peter Woods (Environment Australia) 0418 280 070 or 02 6274 1403
14 January 1999

Commonwealth of Australia