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Joint Statement
John Anderson, Minister for Primary Industries and Energy
Senator Robert Hill, Minister for the Environment

Ministers Urge Forest Interest Groups to Work Together


3 November 1996
(DPIE96/120AJ)

The Federal Primary Industries Minister, John Anderson, and the Federal Environment Minister, Senator Robert Hill, will urge forest interest groups to work together at a conference on Assessing Sustainable Forest Management in Australia which begins on Monday.

The Australian community expects our forests to be managed so that they will continue to provide social, environmental and economic benefits for current and future generations - the basis of sustainable forest management.

This conference offers a real opportunity for interest groups to cooperate on a process for ensuring Australia's forests are managed on an ecologically sustainable basis.

The conference will seek agreement on:

The conference will seek to reach a credible way of assessing the often contradictory claims made about forest management in Australia.

It is hoped that the conference will produce outcomes that enable us to move forward from past emotive and divisive debate over forests to a more rational consideration of scientifically credible criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management.

The conference outcomes should contribute to the development of a credible framework for the assessment of sustainable forest management in Australia's current regional forest agreement process.

The conference builds on the success of international forest meetings hosted by Australia earlier this year in support of work on sustainable forest management by the United Nations.

Australia, along with a number of other countries, is a world leader in measures to assess ecologically sustainable forest management.

Groups attending the meeting include industry, environment, community and union representatives, private forest owners, retailers, indigenous representatives and forestry researchers.

The conference, which is being held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra from 4-6 November, will be opened by Senator Hill while Mr Anderson will address the conference dinner at Old Parliament House.

Further inquiries:

Robert Haynes, Mr Anderson's office, 06 277 7520; 0419 493 511

Matthew Brown, Senator Hill's office, 06 277 7640

Gary Dolman, DPIE, 06 272 4500

Rod Holesgrove, DEST,06 274 1319

Commonwealth of Australia