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

9 March 2001

CALL TO INDUSTRY: VOLUNTEER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT


Federal Environment Minister, Robert Hill is writing to the CEOs of around 200 major companies calling on them to volunteer for environmental work.

"With 2001 being both the International Year of Volunteers and the Centenary of Federation it is an ideal time for Australia's corporate sector to focus on how it can get involved with the community in which it operates," Senator Hill said. .

Senator Hill made his comments at the launch of the Revive our Wetlands project at the Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens today. The Revive our Wetlands project is an exciting new initiative between BHP and Conservation Volunteers Australia which will enable volunteers to participate in wetland rehabilitation works across 100 wetlands sites in Australia. .

"This partnership between BHP and Conservation Volunteers Australia is a significant corporate investment in a practical on-ground environmental activity. .

"The initiative of these two organisations to work together to empower community groups to protect and conserve up to 100 wetlands is commendable. .

Volunteers are central to the Revive our Wetlands program and thousands of volunteers will be involved in practical wetland conservation projects across the country. Revive will also focus on wetlands in the proximity of BHP site operations, showing the company is making a positive contribution to the communities in which it operates. .

"In my letter to Australia's top CEOs I congratulate the companies, such as BHP, that have already established corporate volunteering programs, and encourage those that don't to strongly consider joining the growing trend. .

"Many Australian companies have excellent corporate volunteering programs in place and in some cases staff are given paid time off to participate. .

"It is easy for companies to volunteer their staff for a one-off or more long-term project-and there are many positive spin-offs. .

"Corporate volunteering programs generate corporate pride, are challenging, give participants personnel development opportunities, can build leadership and crisis management skills, and the completion of projects can be a team building exercise for work units. .

Corporate volunteers are making a substantial contribution to Australia's environment which should not go unrecognised," Senator Hill said. .

More information about environmental volunteering is available from the internet at www.environment.gov.au/iyv.

9 March 2001.

Media enquiries: Senator Hill's office: Belinda Huppatz 0419 258 364

Commonwealth of Australia