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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

28 July 2002

National Tree Day Boosts Environmental Repair

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today joined thousands of Australian volunteers at National Tree Day activities at Newport Lakes and Sandringham Foreshore.

Dr Kemp said that National Tree Day is a great example of how Australians from all walks of life are working together for a great cause.

"National Tree Day provides another opportunity for Australians to get involved in small projects which together can make a big difference to our environment," Dr Kemp said.

"On National Tree Day around 150,000 volunteers from Sandringham to Southport, from Newport to Normanville, are working towards a common goal - to green Australia.

"I congratulate Planet Ark and Toyota, who in association with Conservation Volunteers Australia and the AMP Foundation, organised National Tree Day and the thousands of Australian volunteers for their efforts in National Tree Day activities around the country. I wish them luck in achieving this year's National Tree Day goal to plant 1.5 million trees," Dr Kemp said.

Last year National Tree Day attracted 110,000 volunteers, who planted more than 1.2 million trees at 1,800 sites around Australia.

Dr Kemp said vegetation management and revegetation is central to addressing environmental issues such as salinity and water quality, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity and climate change.

"National Tree Day complements the work of the Howard Government's $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust.

"Through the Natural Heritage Trust, important work is underway right across Australia to protect our environment for future generations.

"On-ground action is a feature of these projects which have planted approximately 29 million seedlings and erected 11,200 kilometres of fencing to protect remnant vegetation on 780,000 hectares of degraded land.

"Initiatives such as National Tree Day and the Natural Heritage Trust, which has involved 400,000 Australians volunteers in environmental repair work, highlight what we can achieve as more and more individuals acknowledge that the environment is everybody's business," Dr Kemp said.

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

Commonwealth of Australia