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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
14 May 2001
Opportunities for Australia's environment industries and greener mining practices are on the agenda of a visit to China by Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill.
Senator Hill is attending the opening ceremony of a high-level Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) seminar on human capacity building in Beijing, which will be hosted by the Sultan of Brunei and the President of the People's Republic of China, Jiang Zemin.
"As Beijing awaits the International Olympic Commission's July decision on the 2008 Olympics, there is enormous interest in Australia and our Olympic experience," Senator Hill said. "The environmental expertise that contributed to making the Sydney Games the greenest ever is in great demand in China."
Senator Hill is lending support to an Australian business delegation in China which includes representatives of the Olympic Coordinating Authority and three of the leading companies involved in Sydney 2000 construction, recycling and waste management - Bovis Lend Lease, Visy, and Collex respectively.
Senator Hill and the Chinese Minister for the Environment, Mr Xie Zhenhua, will also focus on how mining operations can minimise their impact on the environment with a joint launch of Australian booklets on best practice in environmental management in mining.
"This visit builds on a successful environment business delegation last May, which saw major gains for Australian industry," Senator Hill said.
"Orbital Engine Corporation, for example, signed a breakthrough agreement with one of China's largest scooter manufacturers. This will help combat pollution from the 10 million two-stroke scooters produced in China each year.
"As China implements a five-year plan to protect its environment and embarks on a major education campaign for its massive population, Australia is capitalising on its reputation as a world leader in environmental industry and technology.
"It's a reputation that will rapidly translate into economic gains, with the global market for environmental business estimated to be worth $500 billion annually, including a $24 billion Asian market, excluding Japan."
Senator Hill will be in China for two days before flying to Paris for a meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
May 14, 2001
Contact: Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill's Office): 08 82377920 or 0419 258364