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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage

1 November 1999

BANKSIA AWARDS BLOSSOM IN NEW MILLENNIUM


The Oscar's for environmental excellence, the national Banksia Environmental Awards were launched today on the banks of the Yarra River in Melbourne.

Dr Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, launched the Awards on behalf of the Banksia Environmental Foundation praising the Foundation's commitment to championing environmental leadership and action within the community.

"Each year for the past 12 years the Banksia Environmental Awards have recognised the unsung heroes of the environment, Australia's volunteer community groups and businesses who work tirelessly and often anonymously to help restore and protect our country's unique and fragile environment," Sharman Stone said.

"The Awards are helping to inspire and encourage individuals and organisations to make a positive contribution to the environment, as well as benchmarking environmental excellence for others in the community to follow."

In launching the year 2000 Awards, Dr Stone announced sponsorship for this year's Land, Bush and Waterways Management Award with $30,000 in funding from the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust.

"The Federal Government is proud to be associated with the Banksia Environmental Awards. The Awards compliment the Government's efforts through the $1.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust to work in partnership with the community to conserve and repair Australia's environmental, agricultural and natural resources," Sharman Stone said.

Other Award categories include flora and fauna conservation, education and training, innovation, communications, waste minimisation, research and development, coasts and marine, environmental business practice and community groups.

Two news Awards will also be launched this year, the Local Agenda 21 Achievement Awards for the promotion of sustainable development at local government level and the Corporate Environmental Leadership Award for openness in business reporting and operations.

Past winners of the Banksia Environmental Awards include high profile environmental campaigner Ian Kiernan for his Clean Up Australia campaign, and tireless community groups like the Superb Parrot Project a bushland rehabilitation project being run be 30 farming families from Barmah and Picola in rural Victoria.

"The Banksia Environment Awards are a magnificent example of what can be achieved when the private sector, communities and Government work together to help protect and restore our natural environment."

The Award nomination process kicks-off today through until 25 February 2000. The Awards are due to be announced on Saturday 3 June 2000 in Sydney.

For further information about the 2000 Banksia Environmental Awards or to obtain an entry form please contact 03 9419 7188 or the Banksia website at www.banksia-foundation.asn.au.

For further information please contact:
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415

Commonwealth of Australia