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Environment to benefit from the Budget

21 May 2002

Budget 2002

The environment will be a significant beneficiary in Thursday's Budget, Environment Minister Marian Hobbs said today.

New funding of $26.5 million is being committed over the next four years through the Environment portfolio to promote a clean, green environment and $5.9 million for environmental education. The Environment vote for 2002-03 is $48.093 million.

Programmes to be supported with new environment money include:

- The establishment of a $3.2 million fund to clean up orphan contaminated sites.

- $1.5 million to establish and operate the Bioethics Council which will facilitate key recommendations from the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification

- $875,000 for National Policy Statements and National Environmental Standards

- $700,000 for implementing the New Zealand Waste Strategy

- $585,000 to improve the operation of the Resource Management Act

- $300,000 to extend the operations of environment centres

Marian Hobbs, who is also Associate Minister of Education, said Budget 2002's education vote will include almost $6 million more over the next four years, to co-ordinate and develop environmental education programmes and to provide professional development for teachers.

Funding for environment centres and education programmes were Green Party initiatives and the Greens also contributed to the funding for contaminated sites.

"Funding for the environment in this Budget underlines the Government's commitment to sound environmental management as one of the fundamental building blocks for growing an innovative economy and society," Marian Hobbs said. "In the three years that I have been Minister for the Environment this government has almost doubled the Ministry's departmental budget from $17 million a year to $30 million."


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