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Thursday, 19 February 1987
Page: 283


Senator JONES —by leave-I move:

That the following matter be referred to the Standing Committee on Science, Technology and the Environment-

1. The capacity of the Australian Development Assistance Bureau to:

(a) assess the environmental impact of proposed projects; and

(b) ensure the environmental sound management of such projects.

2. The adequacy and effectiveness of Australia's participation in the decision-making process of the international banks and multilateral aid agencies of which Australia is a member in relation to the environmental aspects of development projects.

The Australian Government funds many development projects overseas. It is involved in choosing, designing and implementing many of these. Many projects involve major changes in agricultural, forestry, fishery and rural development practices. As such they are projects which often have major conservation and environmental implications. In recent times there has emerged an increased awareness of these implications. Discussion has arisen in relation to the need for conservation and environmental issues to be considered by donor agencies when they are considering supporting proposed projects as well as during the implementation of projects.

The intention of this inquiry is to examine the environmental assessment policies of the donor agencies with which Australia is involved. The main agencies involved would include the Australian Development Assistance Bureau-ADAB-the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. ADAB is the agency responsible for the implementation of Australia's bilateral development assistance program. The World Bank has one of the biggest programs of rural and transmigration assistance.

Question resolved in the affirmative.