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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray

11 April 2002

Australia and Indonesia Meet on Environmental Business Opportunities

Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, will open the third meeting of the Australia Indonesia Joint Working Group on Environment at the Enviro 2002 Convention and Exhibition in Melbourne today.

"This is the third time the Group has met in five years and it is clear that the relationship is benefiting both countries," Dr Stone said.

"For example, the Australian company Austhos, with the assistance of Environment Australia has developed a medical waste management strategy and conducted medical waste seminars in seven Indonesian hospitals.

"Australian industry, in partnership with the Indonesian EPA has successfully trialled a river biomonitoring system in East Java's Brantas River basin.

"And in March, Australia shared its experience in managing the impacts of mining when Environment Australia and the Indonesian Government helped develop a strategy to improve Indonesia's environmental management of mining," Dr Stone said.

Indonesian scientists also joined Australians in climate research projects in the Antarctic this summer making use of Australia's bases and facilities, and forging strong partnerships for the future.

The Joint Working Group is a government-business cooperation group established in 1996 under the Australia-Indonesia Ministerial Forum. Forty-one Indonesian business people will attend the meeting to pursue environment protection business opportunities with their Australian counterparts. Discussions will range over air pollution control, water and wastewater treatment, environmental management in mining and solid waste management and recycling.

"Being green does not send a company into the red. A recent comparison shows that companies listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index as leaders in sustainable development provided better returns than those listed on the overall Dow Jones Global Index.

"Many more investors are now seeking reassurance about the ethical and environmental credentials of companies before making a commitment," Dr Stone said.

"Australia's environment goods and services market has grown by four per cent a year for the past five years, making it one of the fastest growing environment industries in the developed world. Australia and Indonesia already have a strong trade relationship in this area with Indonesia accounting for three per cent of Australia's environmental goods exports.

"The success of the Joint Working Group on Environment lies in its dual objectives of promoting environment protection and maximising commercial outcomes."

The Australia Indonesia Joint Working Group on the Environment meeting is being held in conjunction with the Enviro 2002 Convention and Exhibition - an international showcase of Australia's environmental expertise sponsored by the Federal Government.

Contact: Simon Frost 0419 495 468 Thursday April 11, 2002

Commonwealth of Australia