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Environment committee to investigate catchment management.

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10 June 1999




Catchment management to be investigated in a new inquiry by the House of Representatives Standing Committe e on Environment and Heritage.


Chairman of the committee, the Hon Ian Causley MP, said the inquiry would focus on best practice models for catchment management in Australia and how current management strategies might be improved.


The committee is interested in looking at successes and failures in catchment management, and will recommend how Australia's water catchments could be better managed. Current practices in planning, resourcing, implementation, coordination and cooperation in catchment management will be examined," Mr Causley said.


"The committee will also look at the broader issue of the value of a catchment approach to management of the environment.


'I invite organisations and individuals who are interested or have expertise in catchment management to make a written submission to the inquiry."


The terms of reference for the inquiry are overleaf. The inquiry will be advertised in major metropolitan and rural papers on the weekend of 19-20 June with Friday 30 July 1999 as the closing date for submissions.


The inquiry has arisen from the committee's review of the 1997-98 annual report of the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Heritage. The review identified the management of water resources, particularly river health and quality, as an important issue for further inquiry. The committee's report on its review of the department's annual report will be tabled in the House of Representatives on 21 June 1999.


Further information on the work of the committee can be found on its internet site:


For further information contact:


Hon Ian Causley, MP

Suite RG 22. Parliament House

Phone: 02 6277 4218 (Parliament House)

02 6642 7084 (Electorate)

Fax: 02 6277 8453 (Parliament House)

02 6642 7984 (Electorate)



Committee Secreteriat

R1 110

Phone: 02 6277 4580

Fax: 02 6277 4424









The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment an d Heritage undertook a review of the 1997-98 annual report of the Department of the Environment and Heritage, and will table a report on its review in June 1999. This review was carried out under the provisions of House of Representatives Standing Order 324 (b).


The management of Australia's water resources, particularly regarding the health of urban and rural waterways and water quality standards, was outlined in the annual report and identified by the committee in its review as a topic warranting further examination. On 2 June 1999 the committee resolved to continue its investigation of water resource issues through an inquiry into catchment management, with particular attention to the following matters:


* the development of catchment management in Australia;


* the value of a catchment approach to the management of the environment;


* best practice methods of preventing and reversing environmental

degradation in catchments, and achieving environmental sustainability;


* the role of different levels of g overnment, the private sector and the community in the management of catchment areas;


* planning, resourcing, implementation, coordination and cooperation in catchment management, and


* mechanisms for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on catchment man agement programs, including the use of these reports for state of the environment reporting and opportunities for review and improvement.



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