Member(s) of the Royal Family

I am sure the word biodiversity will sound odd to those children, and I can't help thinking that we really have made life awfully difficult for ourselves with terms like 'sustainability', 'biodiversity' and 'Local Agenda 21'. They don't exactly provide many clues to the uninitiated about their meaning!

The ancient idea that mankind has a responsibility for the stewardship of the natural world, and hence of the countryside, may not be particularly fashionable, but I believe that it lies at the heart of the concept of sustainability, which has currently received so much attention.

Like many others of my generation, I had experienced none of the corresponding wretchedness, the bestiality, and the sheer, mind-numbing waste of war. This, of course, reflects the paradoxical nature of our Earthly existence - that everything consists of opposites. There is good and there is evil. There is death and there is also life.

We have far more to offer the world, far more to take real pride in, than putty, brass and paint.

Ladies and gentlemen, there can be no doubt that real progress towards the more sustainable future we all now seem to seek requires Local Authorities to integrate sustainable development criteria into all their policies and initiatives.

It seems to me that the concept of serving the whole needs of a young person applies equally to the training you are providing for unemployed people as well as those who are in the workforce.

The other thing is, that I was fascinated to discover the other day that, since 1986, 10 per cent of all the small business start-ups in Wales have been started through my Youth Business Trust.

Nowadays in our society there are many powerful pressure groups. Many do much good. Without them, many just and worthwhile causes would not have such vocal and effective champions. But in arguing their case and fighting their corner they can so easily slip into what has tellingly been called single-issue fanaticism.

In the search for common ground it would also be helpful if we could agree that the timber trade in the UK is not actually a rapacious, insensitive group of people intent on plundering the world's forests as rapidly as possible, without scruple or thought for tomorrow. I suspect they are generally somewhat bewildered by the onslaught from campaigning lobbies and would say that they spend time answering allegations which could more usefully be spent putting forward constructive plans to the producers, both at home and abroad.

I hardly need tell you, ladies and gentlemen, what a great pleasure it is to be back in Sydney for Australia Day, and it is most kind of the New South Wales Government to invite me. The last time I experienced an Australia Day was during the Bicentennial celebrations - and I've never been the same since!