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11 May 2010
The Rudd Government will invest $18.0 million over four years to establish a groundbreaking National Plan for Environmental Information to help protect our precious environmental assets into the future.
"The National Plan for Environmental Information is the first step towards long term reform of Australia's environmental information base, building this critical infrastructure for the future," Minister for Environment Protection Peter Garrett said today.
"The wellbeing of our communities and economy is inextricably linked to the health of our environment—our atmospheric, terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems.
"It is increasingly understood that we need comprehensive and timely environmental information to help ensure government policies and programs are evidence-based and effective, and to improve decision-making about Australia's natural capital.
"National economic accounts are taken for granted as a means of tracking our progress as a nation and as a basis for economic decision making.
"We support the need for similarly credible national environmental accounts. The National Plan for Environmental Information sets us on this path."
This initiative will coordinate and prioritise the way the Australian Government collects, manages and uses environmental information.
Ongoing funding of $4.4 million per annum will be used to progressively expand activities and maintain this new record of environmental information.
"Decision makers at all levels of government, industry, community groups and business will benefit from reliable access to credible information on Australia's environment," Mr Garrett said.
"Their ability to make better-informed decisions will deliver a healthier environment for a stronger Australia."
The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts will implement the reform, and the Bureau of Meteorology will be the central authority for environmental information.