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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

7 February 2000

NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST REVIEW OUT SOON


Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill today denied Opposition claims that he'd suppressed the release of "a report" on the Natural Heritage Trust.

"The Government has commissioned an extensive mid-term review of the Natural Heritage Trust to ensure that Australia's largest environmental rescue package is as effective as possible.

"A total of 28 different reports have recently been completed by a range of expert consultants.

"The reviews have made a number of suggestions as to how the Trust can be fine-tuned to be even more effective in future, recognising the substantial achievements to date.

"The complete review was presented to the NHT Advisory Board last week. It will go to a meeting of the Natural Heritage Trust Ministerial Board next week and the various reports will be publicly released soon after."

Senator Hill said he fully expected criticism of the Natural Heritage Trust from the Labor Party.

"Labor was never able to deliver a successful environmental repair package of this magnitude, went to the last election promising to continue it, but currently has no policy of its own.

The opposition claims appear to be based on a mistaken Sydney Morning Herald article quoting a Dr Phil Price, "a member of the Government's advisory board to the National Heritage Trust" (sic) and referring to "a report" due to be released.

Senator Hill said there is no single report as such, and Dr Phil Price is not on the Natural Heritage Trust Advisory Board.

Media contact: Rod Bruem (02) 6277 7640 0419 258 364

Commonwealth of Australia