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12 May 1998
Environment Minister Robert Hill says the Howard Government will continue to improve protection and management of Australia's world heritage areas.
A total of $15.5 million will be allocated to managing and protecting Australia's World Heritage Properties in the 1998-99 budget.
This figures compares with the $10.3 million allocated in the final year of the Labor government for Australia's state-managed world heritage areas.
This year's allocation of $15.5 million is in addition to the $29.5 million allocated to the Commonwealth Protected Areas program to manage 15 protected areas such as Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta national parks. Funding is also provided for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to manage one of Australia's most important natural assets.
Senator Hill says the Howard Government has proven its commitment to world heritage protection.
"Unlike the former Labor government, we do not believe that our responsibility to world heritage areas ends once the publicity from the original listing dies down.
"We have worked with State governments and local communities to ensure effective management strategies are put in place for all our world heritage areas - something Labor failed to do.
"We have also successfully nominated the Heard and McDonald Islands and Macquarie Island and will continue to work with the States in developing nominations for the Blue Mountains and a series of convict sites."
Senator Hill says world heritage areas could also benefit from other Budget allocations such as Natural Heritage Trust or Green Corp projects.
Australia has 13 World Heritage properties. These are: Australian Fossil Mammal Sites, Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves, Fraser Island, Heard & McDonald Islands, the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu National Park, Lord Howe Island Group, Macquarie Island, Shark Bay, Tasmanian Wilderness, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Wet Tropics of Queensland and Willandra Lakes Region.
Media contacts: Matt Brown (Senator Hill) - (02) 277 7640, 0419 693 515
Noel Pratt (Environment Australia) - (02) 6217 2117
12 May 1998