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

30 June 1999


Federal Environment and Heritage Minister, Robert Hill, says Canberra's newly re-named John Gorton building is among the most environmentally friendly office buildings in Australia.

"The building is an appropriate location for Environment Australia - both because of its new 'green' features and its place in the history of the environment within the Commonwealth Government," Senator Hill said.

"It was Prime Minister John Gorton who established the first Commonwealth Office of the Environment in 1970 which was housed in the former Administration Building.

"After occupying different office sites around Canberra over the ensuing decades, the staff are now back where it all started, but from an environmental perspective this is a vastly different building from the one opened in 1956.

"While the external facade has remained virtually unchanged because of its heritage value, the interior design makes extensive use of environmentally sensitive materials and energy efficient services," Senator Hill said.

"During the refurbishment and fit-out there was a strong commitment by architects and contractors to meeting high environmental standards. This has also proved to be cost-effective through energy and material savings."

Environmental features in the building include:

"The demolition contractors recycled half the concrete removed, nearly three-quarters of all the glass partitions, most of the carpet and 10 tonnes of timber. These are parameters of excellence set by partners in the WasteWise program.

"As headquarters for the Australian Greenhouse Office it's of course also appropriate that Environment Australia uses green power supplied by ACTEW," Senator Hill said.

Media contact: Rod Bruem   (02) 6277 7640   0411 128582

Commonwealth of Australia