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Senator Ian Campbell
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministers for the Environment, Sport, Territories, and Local Government
The Head of the Australian Delegation to the U.N. commission on Sustainable Development, Senator Ian Campbell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment (Senator Robert Hill) highlighted the benefits for sustainable development of the Coalition's environment package in a statement delivered in New Your today.
Speaking at the 4th Annual Meeting of the Commission n(CSD4), Senator Campbell said that regional cooperation on environment programs was vital to achieving the important global objectives enshrined in Agenda 21 as developed at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992.
Referring to the Coalition's policy to fund the "Natural Heritage Trust" with A$1.0 billion for the partial sale of Telstra, Senator Campbell said in his U.N. statement "that the Natural )Heritage) Trust investments will also have significant benefits for our regional cooperative efforts."
Senator Campbell said that Australia had developed cooperative relations on a range of sustainable development and environmental programs with nations in our region.
Senator Campbell said that "when government ownership of public utility is balanced against a long-term strategic approach to ensuring sustainable development outcomes, it is the view of the Australian Government that our responsibilities clearly lie with our long term future."
"What we are essentially doing is transferring funds form a single government asset to perhaps our most important asset - the environment."
The financial returns from the sale will establish a long-term investment - an investment for Australia's future generations.
Senator Campbell restated Australia's strong commitment to the principles of sustainable development and the importance of maintaining political momentum at the international level.
However, Senator Campbell warned that high rhetoric would be meaningless unless the concept of a "Global Partnership: was an inclusive one that embraced the needs of local communities and their industries.
He said that without commitments to the principles of sustainable development in the daily lives of individuals then international efforts are mad less meaningful.
Media information - Craig Regan (0414) 282 706 of Mark Elliot (06) 277 3955