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

7 May 2002

Bold Minerals Sector Report Released

Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp congratulated the mining and minerals industry on its charter for a sustainable future, launched today in Melbourne by Mr Hugh Morgan, the CEO of Western Mining Corporation.

"Higher ethical standards and a shift in emphasis towards value-adding activities within the minerals sector are among the suggestions in this frank assessment of how the sector could contribute to Australia's transition to sustainable development," said Dr Kemp.

Facing the Future: The Report of the Mining Minerals and Sustainable Development Australia Project is the result of 15-months of consultation and research coordinated by the Australian Minerals and Energy Environment Foundation.

"The sector plays a key role in our national economy, providing employment, sustaining many rural and regional communities and contributing heavily to Australia's exports," Dr Kemp said.

"The sector has been a leader in Australia in improving its social and environmental performance.

"However, this report is a reality check acknowledging that the minerals sector is at the beginning of a crucial transition and identifies a range of areas requiring improvement.

"It was courageous of the mining industry to open itself up to unprecedented scrutiny by industry, federal and state governments, labour unions, academics, non-governmental organisations, community groups and indigenous representative bodies.

"Not surprisingly, the charter reflects a diverse range of views but establishes a basis on which we can begin to address those differences, support the need for continued change and move forward.

"It's just over a year since the Federal Government became the first national government to financially support the global Mining Minerals and Sustainable Development initiative, with funding now exceeding $120,000 for the Australian project.

"The report's 'Agenda for Action' requires careful consideration by all stakeholders, and I plan to ensure that the Federal Government remains involved with the project," Dr Kemp said.

Australia's report will contribute to the Global Mining Initiative and the sector's input to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held in Johannesburg later this year.

More information about the minerals report is available at:

Media contacts:
Catherine Job (Dr Kemp's office) (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Chris Burnup (AMEEF) (03) 9214 6695

Dr Kemp's speech at the launch of the Report of the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development Australia Project

Commonwealth of Australia