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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment
14 July 1997
A national council has been appointed to advise the Howard Government on the most effective ways of protecting and regenerating native vegetation across Australia.
Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill says the Council for Sustainable Vegetation Management will help direct the $360 million Bushcare program, the largest Natural Heritage Trust initiative.
The 10-member council, to be chaired by Dr Nigel Monteith, will meet for the first time tomorrow (Tuesday) in Canberra.
"One of the most compelling and widely reported environmental challenges for rural and urban Australia is the need to better manage our native trees and other vegetation.
"Studies show that inappropriate land clearing contributes to land degradation, increased soil salinity, the loss of biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions.
"The Natural Heritage Trust represents an historic investment in tackling this problem and, through Bushcare, will achieve a tenfold increase in direct on-ground funding for revegetation activities.
"The council's early tasks will include further developing Bushcare and assessing economic incentives to promote the protection of native vegetation and replanting activities in degraded rural areas.
"By drawing on the considerable combined expertise of the council members, I am confident we can ensure there will be a well-planned and thorough approach to implementing Bushcare.
"The council includes some of the country's leading authorities on nature conservation and land management and the government appreciates their willingness to contribute to this vitally important issue."
The membership of the council is attached.
Contact: Julie Marks (Senator Hill's office) 06 277 7640
Andrew Campbell (Environment Australia) 06 250 7501