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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

29 November 2005

$130,000 rescue package for national litter index


Teams of litter auditors have hit the streets - thanks to $130,000 from the Australian Government - to catalogue the rubbish Australians discard in our parks, beaches and along our highways.

Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said the survey was part of Keep Australia Beautiful’s National Litter Index for 2005-06, which has been re-launched for the first time in 10 years with funding from the Australian Government’s $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust.

"I congratulate Keep Australia Beautiful on this Index and am pleased to announce this valuable work is underway," Senator Campbell said.

"With over 150 representative sites surveyed in each participating state, the Index is an important measure of the quality of our local environments.

"The results of this first count are being tallied now and will be released at the end of December, giving us an accurate view of which parts of our environment are being hardest hit by litter.

"A second count will take place in May next year, with the combined results ready for release by June 2006."

Senator Campbell said the National Litter Index provides a consistent detailed measure of litter across all states and territories, and is a useful benchmark for planning waste management policy.

"This Index will provide industry and governments with credible data to help them pursue sound policies in the areas of packaging, litter abatement and waste management. It will help industry to fulfill their obligations under the National Packaging Covenant."

Keep Australia Beautiful national chairman, Cr Don Chambers, invited members of the public to support the National Litter Index during Keep Australia Beautiful Week next spring, by undertaking Neighbourhood Litter Counts to add to a national database.

"Litter is divided into six categories – plastic, paper, glass, cigarette butts, metal and miscellaneous. It is then broken down into more than 70 different items," Cr Chambers said.

"The most unusual thing the auditors have observed so far was a toilet bowl and cistern still in its wrapping."

For more information visit www.kab.org.au/nat/01_cms/details.asp?k_id=40

More information about the National Packaging Covenant is available at www.deh.gov.au/settlements/waste/covenant

Photos of today’s event are available on request.

Photographs: related images are available from the photo gallery

Media contacts:
Senator Campbell’s office: Renae Stoikos 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
Keep Australia Beautiful: Scott Lyall 02 9633 3380 or 0419 016 401

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