The Hon Sussan Ley Minister for the Environment Statement to Parliament

Extract from Hansard 23 July 2019

…We are working together. We know that between us we can help with one of the key environmental and agricultural outcomes, which is healthy soils.

I was absolutely delighted to see that Major General Michael Jeffery has been reappointed as the national soils advocate. No-one who listens to Michael Jeffery could not but be a convert, if you weren’t already, to the cause of healthy soils. He spoke at the National Drought Summit and he was outstanding. I’m delighted, Prime Minister, that his term has been extended and, in fact, his office has been embedded, ongoing, into this government. Healthy soils and sequester carbon support life. They support our precious biodiversity. They make a difference. And, in a continent with fragile soils, as Australia is, the more we can work to produce those healthy soils the better, and we have done that. We have continued $1.1 billion from the last budget to the next phase of the National Landcare Program, providing funding to June 2023. We will keep on this case due to the benefits from this project.

I’m delighted that the minister for water resources and drought preparedness, through his strong representation of farmers, now has $100 million to disburse—all about drought preparedness—to build that resilience into our farmers, to support our landscape and to love and to look after our environment.