PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 8272

SPEECH BY THE PRIME MINISTER LAUNCH OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL FUTURES GROUP PARLIAMENT HOUSE - 14 MARCH 1991

Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/03/1991

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 8272

PRIME MINIST-4
CHECK AGAINST IYERX ENBARCOED UNTIL DELIVERY
SPEECH BY THE PRIME MINISTER
LAUNCH OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL FUTURES GROUP
PARLIAMENT HOUSE -14 MARCH 1991
When I delivered my Statement to Parliament on Tuesday,
' Building a Competitive Australia', I announced decisions of
fundamental economic importance for the future of this
country. I am proud to emphasise the crucial leadership role my
Government hat; played through decisions such as these -in
setting the riLght policy framework over the past eight
years. But I stressed on Tuesday -and I take this opportunity of
repeating today that success in securing our future
ultimately lie~ s in the hands of each one of us.
I said that it would only be with the understanding of all
Australians as individuals and through their
representative organisations that our nation will best
meet the chall. enges ahead.
When, for exanmple, we speak of creating a ' clever country'
we speak of a transformation that can be initiated, but that
certainly cannot be imposed, by Government.
A truly clever country is one in which each one of us is
equipped with the skills necessary to work productively in a
modern economy. Unless we are prepared to mobilise this
most valuable of all national resources our human
resources we will surely not be able to become a clever
country. What is true in this general sense for the economic future
of this country is equally true in securing the future of
our environment.
When I issued my 1989 Environment Statement -' Our Country,
Our Future' I said that ' its announcements, while
comprehensive and vitally important, would not themselves
see the job done.' Practical action is required. At the

simplest level, it means Government and individuals must use
resources more carefully.
One of the very heartening aspects of Australian life today
is the way in which individuals and families are learning to
recycle many products in everyday household use, such as
newspapers and glass bottles.
We have adopted as an interim planning target the aim of
reducing greenhouse gases by 20 per cent by the year* 2005.
Whether we attain that goal, too, depends on whether we can
modify the behaviour patterns of industries and individual
consumers throughout the nation.
I am proud of my Government's environment record. But as
I've said several times in the past about issues such as
greenhouse emissions, Governments alone cannot take all the
action required.
However, I recognise that Governments must provide a lead,
and act as a role model. And the extent to which the
Government is prepared to lead by example, through better
environmental practices, will be a key determinant in the
community's willingness to continue such activity.
Today, I welcome the initiative of my colleague Senator Nick
Bolkus in establishing the Environmental Futures Group. The
Group will identify areas where the Department of
Administrative Services can make practical contributions
towards a better environment and advise on how it can lead
by example.
The Department of Administrative Services, through the
Environmental Futures Group, can encourage the use of more
environmentally friendly products and energy saving measures
within both its own administration and the Commonwealth as a
whole. It can also encourage environmental values in
industry for example, the building and construction
industries with which Nick's Department is closely involved.
Other advances can be made, through Government purchasing
policies, by giving preference to products that are both
price competitive and environmentally friendly,' and by
encouraging the production of goods and services in an
environmentally sensitive manner.
It will be some time before we will see a dividend from our
efforts. But it is important to maintain our resolve.
Changes are necessary at many levels of society for
Australia to make substantial progress towards a better
environment. We must educate Australians and Australian
organisations to understand their responsibilities and how
they can make a positive contribution.
In all this, the Environmental Futures Group will have a
critical role to play.

3.
I am particularly impressed to see that the members of the
Group are drawn from diverse backgrounds. I congratulate
George Negus and his team on taking up this challenge.
Their willingness to involve themselves in this endeavour
shows their commitment to our environment, and to the sort
of. community action which will be so valuable in the effort
to protect our environment. I wish them well in their work.

Transcript 8272