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

17 July 2001

ADELAIDE TO HOST INTERNATIONAL LOCAL AGENDA 21 CONFERENCE


Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill today announced Adelaide will host an international conference on sustainable development for local authorities in March 2002.

The conference is to advance action on Local Agenda 21 (LA21), an international program developed by and for local authorities to implement sustainable development.

Senator Hill - who is in Bonn for international climate change meetings - said Adelaide is an ideal location for the conference as South Australia has taken a leading role in Australia in progressing LA21 and local sustainability.

"Adelaide was selected as the host city after invitations to bid for hosting the conference were issued in March 2001. The strong response from around Australia showed the high level of commitment and enthusiasm for LA21 by local government and the wider community," Senator Hill said.

"LA21 introduces an integrated approach to economic, social and environmental management and development at the local level. The program is a globally recognised approach to the implementation of local ecologically sustainable development, encouraged through partnerships between government, industry and community groups.

"Adelaide's bid showed a strong commitment to the involvement of both metropolitan and regional councils, State Government and community groups and non-government organisations. The bid also recognised that local governments and the wider communities they represent, are increasingly taking the lead in achieving sustainable development through the integration of environment, economic and social goals."

There is currently LA21 activity in every State and Territory in Australia. A recent survey by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives Australia/New Zealand identified 97 Councils in Australia which are engaged in LA21 programs.

"In South Australia over 50 per cent of Councils are undertaking an LA21 program with their communities," Senator Hill said.

"The conference in Adelaide will provide an international forum in the lead up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development which will review progress since the historic 1992 Earth Summit, and renew efforts to achieve ecological sustainable development."

City of Adelaide Lord Mayor, Alfred Huang, welcomed the selection of Adelaide as host city and said the State has shown an ongoing commitment to LA21.

"South Australia's State and Local governments have had a long-term and ongoing commitment to promoting and supporting the uptake of LA21 through the Partnership for Local Agenda 21," Lord Mayor Huang said.

"The Partnership is the only joint State and Local Government program of its kind in Australia and has been instrumental in facilitating the commitment of all metropolitan Councils in the State and 16 regional Councils to LA21 - and the City of Adelaide is proud to act as the host City on behalf of this collective bid.

"The LA21 conference will provide an opportunity for South Australia to showcase its high level of knowledge, skills and experience of applying LA21 as a set or principles, a process and a product in a metropolitan, urban, peri-urban and rural context.

"The conference will be a working demonstration of the application of LA21 core principles of multi-sectoral partnerships, collaboration, and participatory decision-making processes."

Local Agenda 21 originates from Agenda 21, the document developed during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. The importance of Local Agenda 21 was recognised in June 1997 by Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers for Sustainable Development when they set an APEC-wide target of doubling the number of local authorities with LA21s by 2003.

For more information on LA21 please call Environment Australia's Community Information Unit on 1800 803 772 or visit the website at www.ea.gov.au/esd/local/index.html.

July 17, 2001

Contacts:
Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill's Office) (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364
Megan Grey (City of Adelaide) (08) 8203 7717 or 0418 418 123

Commonwealth of Australia