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Senator Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment
Media Release

Exporting Environmental Expertise to Asia


13 June 1996
(70/96)

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill says Australian companies are uniquely placed to export cleaner production expertise into Asia.

Senator Hill has used an address to the Environment Management Industry Association of Australia to highlight the potential of the Asian market for Australian environmental know-how.

Senator Hill says the environment industry is burgeoning in Australia, bringing about better environmental outcomes as well as providing enhanced economic opportunities.

"The environment industry employs an estimated 100 000 people around Australia. We currently earn more from exporting mining technology, including rehabilitation techniques, then from exporting nickel or diamonds.

"With the global environment market estimated to approach US$500-billion by 1998, environment technology has the potential to become our greatest export industry."

Senator Hill says the cleaner production techniques being invested in by Australian companies today will become valuable export earners tomorrow.

"Australian companies are recognising that cleaner production techniques make better sense economically through reduced wastage and increased efficiency. In addition, the community gains a benefit through reduced impacts on our environment.

"The skills and environmental technologies these companies have developed make an ideal fit with the requirements of expanding Asian economies. We are in a unique position to extend our know-how and expertise throughout the region."

Senator Hill says the innovative solutions developed by Australian companies are already being showcased to Asian nations.

"Australian experts held seminars in Jakarta last week on environmental best practice in mining. Next week the Government along with several Australian companies will hold workshops on cleaner production in Beijing and Bangkok.

"Australia can play a major role in ensuring that more Asian companies become aware of the environmental and economic benefits of cleaner production techniques and in providing the products and services required to achieve sustainable development."

For further comment contact Matt Brown on 0419 693 515.

Commonwealth of Australia