The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for the Environment
Celebrate World Environment Day
5 June 2014
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Today people and communities around Australia and the globe are celebrating World Environment Day. It's a chance for all of us to consider what positive steps we can take to make a difference.
Our quality of life is intrinsically linked with the health of our natural environment. That's why the Government is focused on meaningful action that will make a real difference to our natural environment and in our local communities.
In the coming months, Green Army teams will be rolled out across Australia to clean up riverbanks and creek beds, revegetate sand dunes and mangroves, manage weeds and invasive pests, and protect local significant heritage sites.
The Green Army will become Australia's largest-ever team supporting environmental action across the country, growing to 15,000 young people by 2018.
We've also committed to planting 20 million trees to green our growing urban areas.
Through our Direct Action Plan we're tackling climate change. We're establishing the Emissions Reduction Fund to provide real incentives for our businesses, our farmers, our factories and our households to reduce Australia's emissions. We'll make a real difference because funding will only be provided when projects actually cut emissions.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of our most amazing natural icons. We're directly targeting threats like the destructive Crown of Thorns Starfish and nutrient sediment run-off, and we're developing long-term plans to ensure the protection of this natural wonder.
We've made the biggest commitment to Antarctic research and support in Australian history. The Government is investing in a new icebreaker and boosting resources to get more scientists down on the ice.
Next month we'll be appointing a Threatened Species Commissioner to help stem the loss of our endangered native animals and flora. For too long there's been plenty of talk but no action.
We're also working towards a Clean Air Agreement with the states by 2016 to address the issue of air pollution which is causing health problems such as asthma and costing lives.These are just a few of our commitments that will deliver long-term improvements to our environment. For more information and to find out how you can help make a difference, log on to www.environment.gov.au