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Land Degradation targeted in economic reform package



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FRED CHANEY MP MEDIA RELEASE

Member for Pearce >

Shadow Minister for the Environment

Sr.

LAND DEGRADATION TARGETED IN ECONOMIC REFORM PACKAGE 55/91

"The Hewson economic reform blueprint signals important new initiatives aimed at combating Australia's massive land degradation problem and protection of native fauna," the Shadow Minister for the Environment, Fred Chaney, said today,

"The priority we give to environmental issues is demonstrated by the way in which government expenditure in these areas has been treated in the package,M he told a meeting of the Board of Greening Western Australia in Perth.

"In a program involving spending cuts of many billions of dollars, there have been no reductions affecting major areas of environmental concern such as greenhouse research, the protection of Antarctica and the Great Barrier Reef.

"In addition, we have flagged a determination to do more to tackle Australia's number one environmental problem - how to restore vast tracts of degraded land to productive use and the impact of that loss of soil quality on water supplies.

"While we support existing initiatives such as Greening Australia and Landcare, much remains to be done,

"Australia needs an integrated strategy to combat land degradation and maximise biological diversity.

"The Hewson package commits us to support existing programs and to work with the States to develop new approaches to reĀ­ vegetating over-cleared lands and to provide a policy framework which encourages farmers to avoid over-clearing.

"We also recognise the need to reward private effort in species conservation. Activities such as the outstandingly successful Earth Sanctuaries operation in the Adelaide Hills and in the South Australian mallee have shown what can be done.

"Accordingly, the package stipulates there should be appropriate tax arrangements for those who, for conservation or preservation reasons, incur expenditure on the protection of native animals and plants.

PERTH 22 November 1991 Contact! Keith Kessell 09 250 2533

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