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Senator Robert Hill, Minister for the Environment
The Hon David Wotton MP, SA Minister for Environment and Natural Resources

Joint Statement

Offshore Island Guide Launched

1 March 1997

The first comprehensive guide to South Australia's unique offshore island heritage was officially launched today by Federal Environment Minister, Senator Hill, and State Environment and Natural Resources Minister, Mr David Wotton.

The 500-page guide to more than 150 South Australian offshore islands is the result of 10 years work in assessing the biological, conservation and cultural status of the State's unique island heritage.

Senator Hill said the publication represents one of the greatest resources produced on offshore islands in South Australia and will prove invaluable in ensuring the conservation of these areas for the future.

"The study had dramatically increased the understanding of the biodiversity of the South Australian coastal environment and improved the ability of the South Australian Government to manage offshore island conservation areas, "Senator Hill said.

"The book now brings the national heritage importance of these islands to the notice of the Australian and international public. "

Mr Wotton said: "For more than 10 years, Tony Robinson, Peter Canty, Trish Mooney and Penny Rudduck from State Government conservation agencies have visited and studied the biology and human history of our islands and have made many discoveries that reinforced the great conservation asset we have in our islands.

"Some of our Islands are the last remaining areas of pristine South Australia.

"Since the biological survey was completed, an exciting initiative has been the use of some our islands for the reintroduction of mammal species that have been extinct on the mainland of South Australia for many years.

"This program, run by my Department has resulted in thriving populations of brush-tailed bettongs and stick-nest rats on a number of islands, with the exciting prospect of establishing these species in carefully-selected areas of the mainland. "

The survey has been a joint project of the Federal and State Governments and the Australian Heritage Commission.

The book South Australian Offshore Islands is available from State Information, the Commonwealth Government Bookshop, selected Adelaide book sellers and DENR offices throughout the State.

Commonwealth of Australia