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Catholic lobby supports water quality inquiry

The Catholic lobby group PolMin has welcomed the inquiry into Salinity being undertaken by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Science and Innovation.

The Committee adopted the terms of reference referred by Science Minister Peter McGauran earlier this month, which focus on whether the best possible scientific and technical resources are being applied to the fight against salinity.

Lobbyist Victoria Kearney said that managing science will be fruitless if bureaucracy remains out of control. She said cross border management and integrated planning controls across state and local government boundaries is essential.

"Scientific answers will not help salinity issues if bureaucratic frameworks don't ensure regulatory or market changes to occur," she said. "For example, there is no regulatory requirement for local councils to ensure a bioregional approach to urban and building development applications."

PolMin has focused on the battle to clean up Australia's waterways as an initiative in the International Year of Freshwater.

Catholic Earthcare Australia, an initiative of the Bishops Conference, was launched in the Diocese of Broome on Monday by Bishop Christopher Saunders.

The event took place in St Mary's College Chapel. Those attending included local member Barry Haase MLA from Kalgoorlie, and Catholic Earthcare executive director Colin Brown from Sydney.

Bishop Saunders quoted Pope John Paul II's observation that humanity has "disappointed divine expectations by humiliating that 'flower garden' that is the earth, our home".

He stressed Catholic Earthcare's role in linking and resourcing groups that are prepared to work for a better environment through advocacy and other inintiatives.

He said: "By providing services and educational materials to Catholic schools and other organisations Catholic Earthcare Australia will nurture in the Church in a most vital manner a respect for the sacredness of life, all life - surely God's greatest gift to us."

Diocese of Broome

House of Representatives Standing Committee on Science and Innovation | Inquiry into the coordination of the science to combat the nation's sality problem
PM's $500m bid to save river system (Sydney Morning Herald 25/8/03) | Rivers of gold (Sydney Morning Herald 25/8/03) | Convincing the die-hard sceptics (Sydney Morning Herald 25/8/03)
International Year of Fresh Water
Murray-Darling Basin Commission | Salinity Update
Salinity in NSW (Dept of Land and Water Conservation)
Save the Murray
Lobbyist plans rural tour to talk water reform (4/2/03)
Catholic Earthcare Australia
A New Earth: The Environmental Challenge (2002 Social Justice Sunday Statement)
Diocese of Broome

27 Aug 2003