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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
28 July 2006
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, has urged communities to put their green thumbs to work and plant a tree to celebrate National Tree Day this Sunday, July 30.
Supported by Planet Ark, Toyota and the AMP Foundation, which have supported the event for 10 years, National Tree Day follows Schools Tree Day today.
"National Tree Day is a great opportunity for Australians to make a contribution to their environment, and work towards repairing, restoring and regenerating our beautiful natural landscape," Senator Campbell said.
"Last year 350,000 volunteers from throughout Australia planted 1.5 million native trees and shrubs. For the 10th anniversary of National Tree Day, Planet Ark are hoping to reach the 10 million tree milestone.
"With so many environmental issues to consider, it is important to remember the crucial role of trees in a healthy environment. Trees help prevent salinity and erosion, and also provide food and habitat for native plants and animals.
"Australia is home to some unique tree species including the rare Wollemi Pine. Found only in Wollemi National Park near Sydney, the Wollemi Pine has a heritage of more than 100 million years."
Senator Campbell said the Australian Government, through the $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust, would continue to work with communities on a range of projects including tree-planting.
"In the past decade alone we've seen close to 800,000 volunteers involved in work to protect the land, including the planting of millions of seedlings. Initiatives like National Tree Day help to ensure the future health of our environment," he said.
"I urge people to get involved on Sunday or down the track - just make sure you plant native species local to your area, as some plants can become serious weeds and end up doing more harm than good. Chat to your local nursery about what might be best."
For more information on National Tree Day visit www.planetark.com.au/treeday or call the Planet Ark National Tree Day Hotline on 1300 88 5000 to join a local planting site.
Rob Broadfield 02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902