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Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP

1 June 2002

NSW Farmer Wins Prime Minister's Environmentalist of the Year Award

Dryland cereal crop and sheep farmer Bill Sloane has won the 2002 Prime Minister's Award for Environmentalist of the Year for his work in conserving native vegetation and for showing leadership in sustainable agricultural practices.

Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, presented the Award to Mr Sloane, on behalf of the Prime Minister, at tonight's annual Banksia Environmental Awards in Melbourne.

Mr Sloane was among six finalists for the Award, a list that included an organisation of environmental volunteers, a catchment management board, a community college and two scientists.

"It was a difficult choice because all six finalists have made outstanding contributions to environmental management," Dr Kemp said.

"The sustainable land management practices of Bill and his wife Jacquetta Sloane at their farm, Kilnyana in the Murray Region have set an outstanding example.

"Mr Sloane is a fourth generation landholder, whose family has managed Kilnyana since the 1860s. His ancestors had the foresight to not to clear all their land and today over a third is covered with remnant vegetation, including wetlands and tree cover," Dr Kemp said.

"Over the past 15 years Mr Sloane has erected 32 kilometres of fencing to protect and manage large areas of native vegetation including Yellow Box and Callitris Pine woodland. Mr Sloane has also collected seeds from local plants, including gold dust wattles, wedge leafed hop bush and western black wattles for planting on his property to increase native vegetation cover.

"This vegetation is a sanctuary for a fantastic variety of birds including a large population of the green and yellow Superb Parrot.

"Kilnyana is regularly open to the community as a part of the Learning from Farmers program so others can see the benefits of the Sloanes' work and their approach to managing the land.

"Mr Sloane is also active on many regional natural resource management committees and projects including as a steering committee member on the Natural Heritage Trust funded Savernake and Native Dog Living Farmscapes Project.

"Farmers are our primary land carers and their leadership in sustainably managing their environment is vital to the future of this country.

"There are many benefits for farmers in conserving and improving native vegetation cover that is essential for managing salinity problems - a key focus of the Howard Government's two major environmental rescue efforts, the Natural Heritage Trust and the joint State and Territory National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality," Dr Kemp said.

The Prime Minister's Award for Environmentalist of the Year is sponsored by the Howard Government through Environment Australia.
More information on the Banksia Awards is available from

Media contact:
Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400

Finalists for the Prime Minister's Award for Environmentalist of the Year 2002

Ararat Community College
This regional Victorian public school has worked as a catalyst for global environmental action through its Lab's Alive project.

The project engages students from Asia, Europe, America and Africa in hands on environmental activities in their communities. Projects protect endangered species, manage pests and pollution, explore alternative power sources and recycle waste.

Through the project, students are developing critical thinking skills, working with other students around the world, sharing and experimenting with new ideas, publishing project results, and searching for environmental solutions.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority
The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority is based in the heart of regional Victoria and has undertaken outstanding work rehabilitating the Broken Creek System.

Biodiversity and nature conservation, floodplain management, drainage, water quality, salinity and recreation issues are being systematically addressed as part of a 'whole of catchment' plan to improve the Broken, Boosey Nine Mile Creek System.

The drive to restore the Broken, Boosey Nine Mile Creek system was started by the community in partnership with the Goulburn Broken Catchment and Land Protection Board, Lower Goulburn Waterway Management Authority, along with the rural water authority Goulburn-Murray Water and the State Government's Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

Conservation Volunteers Australia
Based in Ballarat, Victoria, Conservation Volunteers Australia manages a range of priority conservation projects across urban, regional and remote locations.

Conservation Volunteers Australia provides volunteers with the skills, experience and opportunities to make them community leaders in practical conservation activities. It enables people to make a conservation commitment but putting place the organisational arrangements for on-ground environmental projects.

Conservation Volunteers Australia has completed more than one million volunteer days across Australia since it was founded in 1982.

Dr Graeme Pearman, Chief of Division. CSIRO Atmospheric Research
Dr Pearman has undertaken extensive research on greenhouse science and is a powerful championing of climate change as a major environmental issue.

He has shown leadership in atmospheric science, including air quality science and protection, and climate modeling. Dr Pearman works hard to publicise research outcomes and encourages discussion of the implications by the community, policy-makers and industry.

Professor Tor Hundloe
Professor Hundloe is recognised as a world leader in fisheries and World Heritage Areas management, and in ecological economics. He is Director of the Institute of Applied Environmental Research at the University of Queensland and was an Australian delegate to the 2000 United Nations World Heritage Bureau and World Heritage Committee Meetings.

Professor Hundloe's professional contribution to the environment over 30 years is recognised at both the local and global level and he is also active in voluntary conservation work. In 1990, Professor Hundloe was appointed by the Governor General Australia as the first Environment Commissioner of the Industry Commission. He resigned in 1997 to become Professor of Environmental Management at the University of Queensland.

Bill Sloane
Mr Sloane's family has managed Kilnyana, near Savernake, between Deniliquin and Albury, Southern NSW since the 1860s. The property is a dryland cereal crops, sheep & wool farm of approx. 5 800 hectares.

Mr Sloane practices sustainable farming and is active daily in natural resource management. A third of his property is covered with remnant vegetation -11 per cent of it tree cover and 22 per cent wetland. 26 per cent is secured, protected and managed accordingly. Mr Sloane has erected 32 kilometres of fencing over the past 15 years to protect remnant areas.

An active participant in regional activities to sustainably manage the land, Mr Sloane is a member of a number of regional organisations and has participated in the successful Learning from Farmers concept that was initially NHT funded but now driven and self funded by the original 12 farmers.

Bill and Jacquetta Sloane

Bill and Jacquetta Sloane on their farm Kilnyana in the Murray Region.

More information is available from

Commonwealth of Australia