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


8 April 1998

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has released the first five-yearly statutory review of the Endangered Species Protection Act.

The review was conducted by former CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Keith Boardman AO, who consulted with stakeholders, government and non-government organisations.

Dr Boardman’s report is generally supportive of the operation of the Act and the extent to which its objectives have been achieved.

Senator Hill says the strengths of the Act identified by Dr Boardman will be retained and, where appropriate, enhanced in the provisions of new environmental legislation.

“The report also makes 21 recommendations for change in relation to the operation and provisions of the Act. The Government supports the main thrust of Dr Boardman’s recommendations.

“We are, in fact, ahead of the game as many of these issues are being addressed in the current review of environmental legislation.

“Other recommendations are already being addressed through the work of the Natural Heritage Trust.

“The recommendation for greater community involvement in endangered species recovery plans actually reflects the increased community role in environmental repair that we have sought to achieve through the Natural Heritage Trust.”

Senator Hill says the Government’s prompt response to the report signals its commitment to protecting Australia’s endangered species.

“With more than 1500 animals and plants listed as either endangered, nationally vulnerable or presumed extinct, the task of protecting our species represents a significant national challenge.

“We place a high priority on threatened species issues and on ensuring they are addressed in a transparent, responsive, efficient and scientifically rigorous way.

“Our response will help maintain our strong record on protection of threatened species and ensure improved protection into the next century.”

Media contact - Matt Brown 026 277 7640 or 0419 693 515

April 8, 1998 (36/98)

Commonwealth of Australia