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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
21 August 2002
Minister for the Environment and Heritage Dr David Kemp welcomed actor Jack Thompson's provocative and imaginative depiction of Australia's natural resource management challenges at the National Press Club earlier today.
Dr Kemp said Mr Thompson's household name status and his clearly passionate commitment to Australia's unique environment would help draw attention to the suite of major challenges Australia must meet if it is to become environmentally and economically sustainable.
"Mr Thompson's colourful 'wake up call' about natural resource management issues is timely, " Dr Kemp said. "Governments at all levels are coming to grips with natural resource management issues in partnership with industry, communities and individuals, and anything which helps widen the level of community interest in these issues is to be welcomed.
"I especially welcome Mr Thompson's recognition of this: "We know the problems are serious and it's going to take the entire community to fix them. Not governments alone, not landcare alone, not money alone, not business alone and not individuals alone, but a partnership between them all".
"The strategic and community based approach to identifying and solving problems that Mr Thompson calls for is central to the Howard Government's $1.4 billion National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality and the $1 billion extension to the Natural Heritage Trust.
"I also welcome Mr Thompson's recognition of the role being played by farmers. Without farmers and other primary producers, the success of efforts to resolve natural resource management problems in Australia can only be limited.
"All sectors of the community are working to protect and restore the environment. The celebration of the work of Landcare groups in harnessing this enthusiasm and commitment over the past 15 years, highlighted by Mr Thompson, has certainly been particularly important as a pioneering effort.
"Tonight, at the National Landcare Awards, the Prime Minister will be among those paying tribute to the 4000 Landcare and 2000 Coastcare groups who work tirelessly in rural, urban and coastal areas across Australia. Mr Thompson's speech points to the significance of the work they undertake."
Media contact: Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400