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Major benefits for the environment from White Paper

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Media ReleaseSenato r John F aulknerM inister for the Environm ent, Sport and T erritoriesMEST10 5 May 1994MAJOR BENEFITS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT FROM WHITE PAPERThe environment will be a major beneficiary of the Government's White paper initiatives.The Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories, John Faulkner, today welcomed the new employment opportunities in the environment sector which have been identified in the White Paper on Employment and Growth."I expect the environment to benefit from a large share of the increased number of labour market program places provided through the White Paper generally and New Work Opportunities in particular," Senator Faulkner said."Environmental management is a rapidly growing industry in this country and is providing an ever-increasing range and number of employment opportunities.""The environmental initiatives included in the White Paper will lay the groundwork for many who are currently unemployed to be trained to fill employment opportunities in one of our most im portant new industry sectors."Regional Environment Employment Program (REEP)The Regional Environment Employment Program (REEP) will support consortiums of community groups, land care groups, government and business to provide work experience and training in environm ental management and restoration projects throughout regional Australia."REEP will assist in creating future job opportunities in the environment repair industry, green product industries and ecotourism," Senator Faulkner said."It will provide at least 5000 placements in the first year and 10,000 per year for three years thereafter. This could be much higher, depending on the number and quality of the projects which are brought forward. ""Local communities should look seriously at REEP. This is an innovative program w hich will give communities the chance to tackle their environmental problems and at the same time create regional employment opportunities.""REEP is based on a proposal by Greening Australia and the Government looks forward to their involvement in the program's implementation."

At the national level, the program will be overseen by a REEP Management Board comprising industry and community experts and departmental representatives.

Landcare and Environment Action Program (LEAP)

The successful and popular Landcare and Environment Action Program (LEAP), which currently provides around 10,000 job places, will be more than doubled.

Environmental Traineeship Scheme

An environmental traineeship scheme will be developed to offer approved training and provide key environmental skills.

"The environmental management industry is very important both for environmental and economic reasons. It will play an increasingly important role in achieving improved environmental quality."

"A strategic national approach to training in this area is well overdue."

Senator Faulkner said the traineeship will be developed in consultation with industry and community groups.

"The size and success of the traineeship scheme will depend on industry's response, but I am confident that government and industry will work together to realise the full potential of this program."

Environmental Policy Analysis and Research Program

The Government will provide funding to establish an Environmental Policy Analysis and Research Program within the Industry, Science and Technology portfolio. This will enhance that Department's ability to contribute to the development of environmental policies affecting industry.

ACF "Green Jobs" Research

Funding for research by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) into future "green jobs" opportunities in the areas of waste and water management, ecotourism, and energy auditing has been extended.

ACF will test their research by placing 100 unemployed people in "green jobs" work experience and training through the JobSkills program.

Further Information: Carolyn Betts 06 277 7640 (W) 015 296 248 (Mobile) 06 295 7589 (H)