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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 8757

STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE HON P J KEATING MP RELEASE OF NATIONAL ESD NAND GREEN HOUSE STRATEGIES

Photo of Keating, Paul

Keating, Paul

Period of Service: 20/12/1991 to 11/03/1996

More information about Keating, Paul on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 08/12/1992

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 8757

PRIME MINISTER 189
STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE HON P 3 KEATING MP
RELEASE OF NATIONAL ESD AND GREENHOUSE STRATEGIES
The Council of Australian Government has endorsed the National Strategy for
Ecologically Sustainable Development ( ESD) and the National Greenhouse Response
Strategy. The Council also agreed to the release of the Compendium of ESD
Recommendations as a record of how the Strategies agreed by Heads of Government,
together with examples of present policies and programs, relate to each of the
recommendations arising from the ESD process.
Endorsement of the Strategies represented an important step forward and demonstrated
that Australia was serious about seeking to achieve ecologically sustainable development.
This was not, however, the end of the process. The Commonwealth would continue to
discuss a range of ESD issues with the States and Terrtories and also with key interest
groups. The Government would also take further initiatives within the Commonwealth's
own areas of jurisdiction.
Thec achievement of a broad national commitment to ESD was a tribute to the
contributions that many individuals and organisations had made to the ESD process.
Overall, governments have accepted more than 80% of the original recommendations in
some form. Less than 4% had not been accepted, with the balance still under
consideration. The National Strategy for ESD will play a crucial role in setting the scene for the broad
changes in direction and approach by governments. It constitutes a substantial agenda for
change and reform in the longer term. Such changes will present new opportunities in the
future, in areas as diverse as ecotourism, agriculture and cleaner manufacturing processes.
Major features of the ESD Strategy include initiatives to:
endorse the ESD goal, objectives and principles and review of relevant agencies to
incorporate these in charters and corporate plans;
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enhance the role of integrated and total catchment management in policies and
programs; adopt a fisheries ecosystem management approach;
promote adoption of best practice envirornental management by industry and
whole-life-cycle methodologies by industry, and prepare a strategy for the
environmental management industry;
ensure mine sites are rehabilitated to sound environmental and safety standards;
incorporate ESD principles in tourism strategies;
establish criteria for access and use of protected areas consistent with ESD
principles and objectives;
extend the National Residues Survey to cover wildlife and the wider environment;
finalise a national biological diversity strategy for consideration by Heads of
Government; develop a national approach to the protection of rare, vulnerable and endangered
species; assess the current rate of native vegetation clearing on a national basis;
review national and sector balance sheets in Australian National Accounts;
improve the coverage and effectiveness of the Environent Impact Assessment
process; consider the need for a national approach to coastal issues following the Resource
Assessment Commission's coastal zone inquiry;
improve management of water allocations and determine the most appropriate mix
of water resource management mechanisms;
ensure waste disposal costs reflect externalities;
establish an intergovernmental consultative forum for RD& D; and
establish an intergovernmental Ministerial-level Roundtable and establish ad hoc
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The Council also endorsed the National Greenhouse Response Strategy ( NGRS) and
committed governments to a range of actions aimed at limiting greenhouses gas emissions
and reducing the level of uncertainty which is associated both with climate change
predictions and the actions needed to tackle the problem. Greater effort will also be given
to enhancing our capacity to adapt to climate change and involving interested community
sectors in the future development of greenhouse responses.
The first phase responses are mainly in the areas of energy production, distribution and
use. This reflects the level of understanding of greenhouse gas emission mechanisms in
these areas, and the reasonable scope for taking no-regrets actions. The measures
included are consistent with the broader micro-economic reforms already underway in the
energy sector.
The NGRS; is broadly consistent with existing policies and programs, although it gives
greater impetus to energy efficiency reforms both in the energy production and use
sectors. Major features of the Greenhouse Strategy are initiatives to:
promote more transparent and accessible energy markets
develop and apply an integrated least cost approach to energy planig
improve linkages between energy costs ( including externalities) and prices
diversifying energy sources
improve household, industrial and commercial energy efficiency
improve efficiency of motor vehicles
establish a National Greenhouse Advisory Panel ( NGAP)
develop a National Greenhouse Gas Inventory
Community involvement will remain central to the future development of both the ESD
and Greenhouse Scrategies. As part of the monitoring and review process, the ESD
Steering Committee and the National Greenhouse Steering Committee will report to
Heads of Government within twelve months, and biennially thereafter, on the
implementation of the Strategies seeking input and comment from key business and
community groups.
In addition to the intergovernmental Ministerial-level ESD consultative roundtable, to be
held biennially as established under the Strategy, the Commonwealth will continue to
hold more frequent ESD Roundtable meetings to provide opportunities for dialogue with
community representatives at the peak national level.
8 DECEMBER 1992 CANBERRA
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Transcript 8757