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Jack Thompson calls on government to halt landclearing.

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KELVIN THOMSONMedia Release from the Shadow Minister for Environment & Heritage JACK THOMPSON CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO HALT LANDCLEARING

Iconic actor and Landcare supporter, Jack Thompson today made a stirring call on the Government to control landclearing at the National Press Club today.

Mr Thompson said, “There seems to be a lack of willingness to stop landclearing -and too much bickering between Commonwealth and State Governments over who foots the bill. The Government and the Australian community has got to bite the bullet on this one”.

Mr Thompson went on to highlight some disturbing statistics on landclearing including:

• A piece of land the size of a football field is lost to salinity every day • 60% of coastal wetlands in southern Australia have been lost • 20 billion trees have been cleared since 1788, with over 70% of Australia’s native vegetation clear or substantially modified

Landclearing is one of Australia’s most pressing environmental issues. As Mr Thompson highlighted today, the Howard Government has failed to show leadership and lead a co-ordinated national response.

If the Howard Government won’t act then Labor will. Labor released its policy to control landclearing earlier this year and is committed to halting the year in, year out decline in native vegetation and its disastrous consequences for biodiversity, salinity and greenhouse gas emissions from burning and rotting vegetation.

For Further Information: Kelvin Thomson MP Phone: 03 9350 5777 Mobile: 0419 594882 Gavan O’Neill Phone: 03 9350 5777 Mobile: 0417 118146

Thursday, 22 August 2002