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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment
2 September 1996
Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has warned Australians not to "drop the ball" on efforts to reduce litter.
Senator Hill has launched 'Looking at Litter, a record of the 1996 national litter statistics compiled by Keep Australia Beautiful.
Senator Hill says the statistics indicate some success in the battle to reduce litter.
"Litter is a mainstream environmental problem. It is highly visible, unsightly and reduces the value of community amenities.
"Cleaning up litter also imposes substantial costs on the community.
"But the latest statistics from Keep Australia Beautiful provide some hope that Australians are taking action to address this problem.
"KAB estimates that litter decreased by 10 per cent between 1992 and 1996.
"That result is a tribute to the efforts of groups such as KAB in raising awareness of our litter problem and its impact on our environment."
Senator Hill has warned that there is still no room for complacency.
"Recent statistics indicate a slight upward trend in the last couple of years so we must ensure that we maintain and even increase the momentum of our litter reduction efforts.
"Various explanations have been put forward for this slight upward trend including increases in the population and the consumption of fast foods, and difficulties in turning around the behaviour of hard core litter bugs.
"These uncertainties underline the importance of basing our litter reduction efforts on hard factual evidence and research.
"Reports such as 'Looking at Litter help provide that information base as well as setting benchmarks to measure progress in litter reduction."
For further comment contact Matt Brown on 06 277 7640.