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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

19 August 2002

In Reverse - No Forward Thinking

The analysis by Dr Christoff is what you would expect from the Convenor of the Victorian Greens and a member of the Board of Greenpeace (Australia).

This new report is an excuse to trot out a familiar agenda - there can never be enough money, effort or strong enough legislative action to satisfy those who oppose Australia’s economic system and society.

Australia’s record internationally on environment and sustainable development issues is one of which we can be proud. The real facts on that proud record can be found in a far more credible report; the Australian National Assessment Report, which has been submitted to the WSSD.

That record includes the facts that:

Australia has also made strong domestic advances towards sustainability in the last ten years.

Our own problems are echoed across the world, but it is worth remembering that many other countries face far greater and more systemic problems than Australia does, not just on environment but more fundamentally on issues like health. In the international debate, while we disagree on some issues from time to time, usually we share with other countries what the goal is as well as a clear and urgent sense of the need to move towards sustainability.

That's why I'm going to Johannesburg next week - to help set a forward agenda that will take account of everyone’s concerns, across the globe.

Australia’s priorities at the World Summit on Sustainable Development will be to:

“At Johannesburg we will work constructively for practical and achievable outcomes, promote Australia’s strong record in implementing sustainable development at home and through international partnerships and build on our bilateral and regional relations,” Dr Kemp said.

A full copy of the Australian National Assessment Report can be found at the Environment Australia website:

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

Commonwealth of Australia