The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
09 March 2004
Tasmania could immediately access $8 million dollars for World Heritage areas if Paul Lennon took action instead of playing politics.
The Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, wrote in January advising the Tasmanian Government the funds were available right now for new environmental projects.
“This money is sitting there because the State Labor Government was unable to support the `Clean up the King River Project' with any information of the environmental benefits and tangible outcomes of the proposal at any level,” Dr Kemp said.
While the Tasmanian Government was not able to meet the funding conditions for the 'Clean up the King River' approval, the funds, from the first phase of the Natural Heritage Trust, have not been withdrawn.
“The King River project would have seen $8 million spent addressing acid drainage into the river from the old Mt Lyell mine. This project has been stalled for 7 years now, and Mr Lennon should use the money he has before putting his cap out for more.
“Senator Macdonald and I have repeatedly asked the Tasmanian Government to submit alternative natural resource management projects, including projects in the World Heritage Area, for us to consider funding from this allocation but they have not responded.
“I understand that managing budgets has never been Labor's strength but if Mr Lennon puts forward some viable proposals, I will make sure that they are funded before the end of the financial year. We have $8 million ready to go.
“There is some fantastic work going on to protect Tasmania's outstanding environment. The Tasmanian Government could even submit a further King River proposal, but it would have to be a substantially better quality proposal than the one we have previous considered.
“Accusations by Paul Lennon that Tasmania is being shortchanged on World Heritage is totally wrong, and he should put forward projects for the Australian Government to consider.
“We stand by our commitment to invest $150 million of the first phase of the Natural Heritage Trust in Tasmania, but we cannot do this if the Tasmanian Government does not serve its community by giving us sound proposals for investment,” Dr Kemp said.