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Landcare 'alive and well'

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SENATOR THE HON. IAN MACDONALD Minister for Forestry and Conservation

Home Back to Media Releases AFFA02/165M 21 August 2002


Landcare ‘alive and well’

Australia’s landcare movement is alive and well, and the Government will ensure it remains that way, the Federal Minister for Forestry and Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald, said today.

Senator Macdonald was speaking after an address to the National Press Club by actor Jack Thompson comparing Australia, and the state of its natural resources, to a person on life support.

“Jack Thompson’s analogy is an interesting one — equating salinity to the early stages of cancer; declining biodiversity to a failing immune system and stressed wetlands and rivers to kidneys on dialysis,” Senator Macdonald said.

“However, there is more to environmental management in Australia than just biodiversity. You need to also include the thousands of volunteers who work in landcare, coastcare and similar groups, to overcome the threats to our natural resources.

“So if you consider all of the components — that is, people as well as the various environs — then landcare is alive and well.”

Senator Macdonald said the Federal Government’s Envirofund was designed to even further encourage people and groups to become involved in natural resource management.

“The Envirofund, which is part of the Natural Heritage Trust, has had $20 million allocated to it this year, and a range of proposals are being assessed,” Senator Macdonald said.

Senator Macdonald said that while the Government’s focus on natural resource management has grown from supporting small-scale projects to a strategic catchment or regional approach, community landcare would remain a crucial ingredient.

In addition, he said forestry in Australia is making a major contribution to greenhouse abatement and salinity control.

“However, we can do more with both native and plantation forests, and that is why the Federal Government takes leadership on forest issues, and in disseminating information

about the real value of forests to Australia,” Senator Macdonald said.

Further inquiries:

Senator Macdonald's office: Zac Donovan (02) 6277 7270 or 0438 611 296


  Last updated 22 August 2002

URL: Commonwealth of Australia 2002