New conservation head says there’s more to be done

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Helen Oakey is the new executive director of the Conservation Council ACT Region.

HELEN Oakey has been appointed the new executive director of the Conservation Council ACT Region. 

The former Greenpeace staffer and senior advisor for Greens ACT started in the role this week.

President Rod Griffiths says Ms Oakey has extensive experience in environmental advocacy as well a keen understanding of issues facing Canberra and the ACT with regards to protecting biodiversity and responding to climate change.

Ms Oakey says it’s a very exciting time in Canberra to think about how to live sustainably into the 21st century.

“There is a growing understanding in the wider community of the impact that people have on our local environment, in regards to waste, transport and urban development,” she says.

“Individuals and groups across the community are working hard to find new and innovative ways we can step more lightly on the planet.

“While Canberra is a wonderful city that has many natural assets both within the urban area and in nearby nature reserves and national parks, our growing population and our considerable consumerism will impact the viability of local species and natural environments.

“Canberra is doing many things right in its efforts to be environmentally sustainable, particularly in regards to greenhouse emissions, and has a fantastic opportunity to showcase best practice across other areas of environmental management.

“But we have more work to do: improving public transport, changing that way we think about waste recovery and resource use, ensuring thoughtful development, protecting our waterways, and reducing our use of fossil fuels such as gas are all challenges ahead.

“I am really looking forward to working with member groups, government and the community to harness the amazing expertise and knowledge within the Conservation Council to put forward the best options for improving sustainability in the ACT and region.”

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