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Media Release

Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald
Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister for the Environment

NATURAL HERITAGE MEANS 700 000 JOBS


28 June 1998

Landcare members meeting in Cairns today (Monday) were praised for their role in providing employment for almost 700,000 Australians.

The Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Senator Ian Macdonald who opened the Queensland Landcare and Catchment Management Conference said Australia's Natural Heritage drew in 4.3 million overseas tourists, nation wide generating $16.5 billion in export earnings.

"By their devotion to the environment Landcare members in the North have ensured that Australia's Natural Heritage such as the North's reefs and rainforests remain the drawcard for tourists

"I congratulate Landcare members on the work they do in a voluntary capacity to care for our natural assets.

"The efforts of the Landcare workers are supported financially from the sale of 1/3 of Telstra as the Government converts the capital of a business company into our Natural Capital in the form of clean air, healthy rivers and oceans, productive land and vegetation, and wiser management of our rich and irreplaceable biodiversity.

"The Natural Heritage Trust, through programs like Bushcare, the National Landcare Program and Rivercare can help, but ultimately the responsibility is, was and always lie with the community.

"For the first time, a mechanism exists which fully integrates at a Commonwealth level, the management of Australia's soil and water resources, native vegetation, wildlife and oceans. This now happens through Trust programs such as Bushcare, the National Landcare Program, National Rivercare and Murray Darling 2001," Senator Macdonald said.

ENDS
28 June, 1998

For more information contact Philip Connole on (02) 6277 3665 or 0417 063 605.

Commonwealth of Australia