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Media Release
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
Greg Hunt MP

7 September 2005

Hunt launches international flora and fauna collection

Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, today launched an international collection that will give amateurs and experts insight - some of it for the first time - into some of the lesser known but invaluable flora and fauna from Australia and around the world.

"Among the two books and three CD-Roms launched today by the Australian Biological Resources Study is a range of diverse material from an illustrated book on the unique native plants of Christmas Island, through to a CD-Rom that identifies 33 previously unknown Australian earthworms," Mr Hunt said.

"The collection provides valuable sources for scientists and great insight for amateurs. It also has scope for local industries such as commercial fishers that can use the CD-Rom on Flatworms to learn about how these animals could pose a threat to the commercial shellfish industry. It provides a new simple method for identifying these marine polyclads using colour and markings and is suitable for all users.

"This is truly a body of work of international significance. It is part of the Australian Government's commitment to good science, improving our knowledge of biodiversity and sharing this knowledge with the broader Australian and international community.

"It helps to ensure that Australia remains a world leader in managing, presenting and using biodiversity information."

Products launched today include:

In May 2003, the Australian Government committed $12.4 million in new funding over four years to maintain the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS), a program of the Department of the Environment and Heritage that promotes research of Australia's biodiversity at a national level.

Media enquiries:
Fiona Murphy 0423 577 045 (Mr Hunt's office)

Photographs, bios and interviews please contact: Mary Colreavy 0427 096 696/

Commonwealth of Australia