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

29 July 2001

HILL SUPPORTS VOLUNTEER MOVES TO GREEN UP AUSTRALIA


Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has congratulated those volunteers working to make Australia greener on National Tree Day.

Senator Hill said National Tree Day, organised by Planet Ark and Conservation Volunteers Australia, is another great example of what can be achieved by Australia's dedicated environmental volunteers.

"National Tree Day provides another chance for us all to get involved in small projects which added together make a big difference to our environment," Senator Hill said.

"I wish all supporters luck in achieving this year's National Tree Day target to more than double the 400 000 trees planted last year."

Senator Hill said revegetation work was important to Australia's environment - but so too was the proper management of native vegetation and protection of remnant bush.

"Vegetation management and revegetation is central to addressing environmental issues such as salinity and water quality, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity and climate change," Senator Hill said.

"The Howard Government, through the Natural Heritage Trust, has long recognised the invaluable contribution made by more than 300,000 volunteers who receive Trust support in projects to tackle these important environmental issues.

" On-the-ground action has been one of the main aims of the Trust and has resulted in work on 600 000 hectares of degraded land through the re-establishment of vegetation cover and changes to land use. The work has led to the establishment of approximately 15 million seedlings and 12 000km of fencing to protect remnant vegetation."

Senator Hill recently announced funding of $10 million for Greening Australia to provide Bushcare support to assist volunteer community groups develop revegetation and remnant protection projects. Groups would receive technical advice on the appropriate local species, direct seeding techniques, and deciding the width of revegetated corridors.

"Invaluable work by volunteer groups, mobilised by organisations such as Planet Ark, and Conservation Volunteers Australia, complement the work undertaken by the Natural Heritage Trust. I congratulate all these great Australians for their commitment to our precious and unique environment."

29 July, 2001
Media contact: Belinda Huppatz 0419 258 364

Commonwealth of Australia