The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Mr Warren Truss
Western Australian Minister for Environment
Dr Judy Edwards
Western Australian Minister for Agriculture
Mr Kim Chance
22 June 2004
A comprehensive environmental strategy for safeguarding Western Australia's renowned South Coast has been thrown open for a six-week public comment period.
The draft strategy dealing with effective land, water, marine and coastal use, protecting biodiversity and cultural values, and encouraging strong and vibrant regional communities, was launched today by Australian Government Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp; Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss; State Government Ministers for the Environment Dr Judy Edwards; and Agriculture Kim Chance.
The strategy, which was developed by the regional community and coordinated by the South Coast Regional Initiative Planning Team (SCRIPT), and once formally accredited by the Australian and State Governments, will provide a framework for further investment from the $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust and the $1.4 billion National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality.
Dr Kemp congratulated the local community and SCRIPT on their efforts.
"This is the most coordinated natural resource management strategy ever put together for the region," he said. "The South Coast has the potential to be recognised around the world for its biodiversity, sustainable primary production, respect for cultural values and strong stewardship of its natural resources."
Mr Truss said the strategy addressed key local and national environmental policies and programs. The public consultation period extends from 22 June to 30 July 2004. A series of public forums will be held in July.
"An enormous amount of information has been gathered from across the South Coast, which has been a huge challenge," he said. "Now it's time for the broader community to have its say."
Mr Chance said the strategy provided a coordinated approach to natural resource management.
"This strategy will guide local residents, landowners and rural industries about the sustainable use of natural resources on the South Coast, from Walpole in the west to Cape Arid in the east, and north to Broomehill, Mount Madden and Salmon Gums."
Dr Edwards added the strategy marked an important stage in the ongoing natural resource management process in Western Australia.
"The South Coast is the fourth natural resource management region in Western Australia to release a draft regional strategy," she said. "These regional strategies will ultimately provide direction for future investment in natural resource management by the Australian and State Governments, and other investors."
The Chair of SCRIPT, Jean Webb, invited people to be part of the community's vision for the South Coast.
"This is an excellent opportunity for people to have a say in the priorities, targets and actions that will shape the future of the South Coast," Mrs Webb said.
Details on the forums and other issues related to the draft strategy can be found at www.script.asn.au or by contacting Julie McKie (phone: 08 9892 8537 or firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information, visit the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality at www.napswq.gov.au; and the Natural Heritage Trust at www.nht.gov.au