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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
12 April 1999
Australia's commitment to revegetation reached a significant new milestone today with Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill launching the Bush for Greenhouse program under the Natural Heritage Trust.
The historic venture will see Edison Mission Energy, owners of the Gippsland Loy Yang B Power Station, invest $1 million in Landcare and associated revegetation projects to reduce greenhouse gasses.
Speaking at Maffra, Senator Hill said it represented one of the largest contributions ever made by a private corporation to the nation's environmental rescue effort.
He announced the Commonwealth Government would give a non-legal acknowledgment to Australian companies for greenhouse gas reductions resulting from new re-vegetation programs.
"I commend the lead taken by Edison Mission Energy and acknowledge their vision and commitment to the environment," Senator Hill said.
"We'll be able to gain valuable data from this project to help calculate levels of carbon taken up by bush regeneration. We hope to encourage other companies which emit greenhouse gasses to follow this example and invest in bush conservation to provide carbon sinks.
"Edison Mission Energy's program helps achieve 'win-win' outcomes all round - for Landcare, for revegetation, for biodiversity and for meeting our greenhouse targets."
More than half of the $1 million in funding will be directed to Wellington Greenprint which is an integrated program of land restoration works. This includes farm planning, native seed collection and revegetation to help address salinity problems.
"The program really is a 'greenprint' the rest of Australia can follow. It builds on the Government's Natural Heritage Trust, which is supporting a more integrated approach to natural resource management, biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture," Senator Hill said.
Media contacts: Rod Bruem (Senator Hill's office) 0411 128 582 or Andrew Campbell (Environment Australia) 02 6274 2501