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Departmental media release archive


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

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State of the Environment - a Report Card on Australia's Environment

Media Release

27 June 1996

The most significant and comprehensive report ever produced on the Australian environment has been hailed as an indispensable document in the fight to save our natural heritage.

Australia: State of the Environment 1996, the first independent nation-wide assessment of the status of Australia’s environment, was previewed today with the release of the Report’s Executive Summary in Canberra.

Prepared by over 200 of Australia’s key scientific, academic and environment experts the report links land, water, air, human settlements, plants and animals.

The aim of the report is to provide Australians with accurate, timely and accessible information about the condition and prospects for the Australian environment.

Professor Ian Lowe, Chairman of the State of the Environment Advisory Council and chief coordinator of the report said, ‘For the first time all Australians will be able to pick up a book that looks at all elements of our environment as an integrated whole.’

The Report confirms that Australians have been most effective in tackling their environmental problems when they have taken a comprehensive systematic approach rather then a piecemeal one that treats symptoms and not underlying causes.

‘The activities in our cities and on our farms, affect what happens to our streams and rivers and therefore our estuaries and seas. We cannot treat each problem as a separate issue,’ said Professor Lowe.

The report shows that Australia has some serious environmental problems and unless these problems are tackled urgently Australians run the risk of losing forever vital elements of their natural heritage.

The report states that no single government or sector is to blame for the problems highlighted but that changes are needed in government policies and programs, corporate practices and personal behaviour.

The issues addressed in the report will assist decision makers in government, industry and community groups to adopt an integrated, longer-term perspective when solving Australia’s environmental problems.

The challenge of the 1996 State of the Environment Report is to put this information to good use.

27 June 1996

NB: Australia: State of the Environment 1996 is scheduled for release in late July 1996.

For further information or interviews with key experts please contact:


Tracey Bell/Patrick Fletcher
06) 274 1966
Mobiles: 0419 603 485
018 620 764
018 620 126