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

2 July 1999


Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill today welcomed the launch of a new Natural Heritage Trust initiative establishing a community network for the conservation of wetlands.

"WetlandLink follows on from other successful Natural Heritage Trust initiatives such was Landcare, Bushcare and Rivercare, which have encouraged record numbers of Australians to become directly involved in hands-on efforts to restore their natural environment," Senator Hill said.

"WetlandLink will help community groups around the country to take part in major wetland restoration works. The network also aims to promote understanding and sustainable management of wetland areas.

"With more than 50 Australian wetlands now recognised internationally through the RAMSAR wetland convention, the establishment of WetlandLink will further add to our record for protecting these important areas of biodiversity.

"Wetlands are among the world's most productive environments. We use them extensively for fishing, to help maintain water tables for agriculture, as water storage areas, to protect against floods and of course they're critical habitats for many plants and animals.

"But it's only in recent decades that Australians have started to understand their importance and appreciate they are among the most threatened areas of our environment.

"Through the WetlandLink network, community groups will have a major role in saving our wetlands by:

WetlandLink will be managed by Wetland Care Australia. It's headquarters in Ballina NSW will be officially opened today by the Hon Larry Anthony MP.

Further information:
Rod Bruem, (Senator Hill) 0411 128 582; 02 6277 7640
Brendan Lee (Wetlandlink) 02 6681 6060.

Commonwealth of Australia