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

Howard Government Backs Local Environment Action

5 June 1997

The Federal Government has marked World Environment Day with increased support for local government efforts to make urban living more environmentally sustainable.

Environment Minister Robert Hill has announced two major initiatives which will build on the environmental successes already being achieved by local councils around Australia.

Senator Hill says the Commonwealth will provide $215,000 to establish the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign.

"It is estimated that local government has direct impact over the sources of over 50% of Australia's greenhouse emissions.

"The objective of this new campaign is to help local governments reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their communities through increasing energy efficiency. This involves the development of creative transport management, building policies and land-use strategies.

"This campaign has been successful in more than 150 cities around the world. The Commonwealth funding will get the campaign up and running in Australia with 30 local governments to benefit in the first year."

Senator Hill says the Howard Government would also provide funding for an expansion of the Environmental Resource Officer Scheme.

"Local Government is at the "coal face" when it comes to urban planning, environmental health, water supply, pollution control, sewage treatment, waste management and disposal and natural resource management.

"The Commonwealth funded Environmental Resource Officers work in support of local environmental innovation in conjunction with state local government associations.

"A further two Environmental Resource Officers will be funded by the Commonwealth, one in the Northern Territory and one to work with Councils on national issues such as greenhouse gas emissions."

Senator Hill says the two initiatives support the action the Commonwealth is taking to directly address major urban sustainability problems being felt in our cities.

Media contact - Matt Brown 06 277 7640 or 0419 693 515

Commonwealth of Australia