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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill today officially launched a joint partnership with the South Australian government to slash greenhouse emissions from state buses.
Senator Hill said the Federal Government was providing $1.75 million for South Australia to introduce 103 state-of-the-art buses running on compressed natural gas.
"This will drastically reduce air pollution and greenhouse emissions coming from buses in South Australia," Senator Hill said.
"The new buses will deliver greenhouse reductions of just over 692 tonnes annually with an estimated 10,000 tonnes of greenhouse reductions during the next 15 years."
Six buses already in service will be used during the Green Games to showcase Australia's commitment to reducing greenhouse emissions.
The buses will be part of the fleet used to transport passengers in a free shuttle service to the Hindmarsh Stadium for Olympic soccer matches beginning on Wednesday, September 13, 2000.
"Using these buses during the Olympics will help send an important environmental message to the world - that Australia is committed to reducing its greenhouse emissions," Senator Hill said.
"Surveys show the number one environmental concern is air pollution and this will help deliver major improvements."
The bodies of the buses are being assembled in Adelaide and they will be progressively introduced during the next two years.
Compressed Natural Gas delivers reductions in particulate emissions in the order of 50 per cent of those emitted by a diesel bus.
Senator Hill said another $100,000 in funding has been approved to upgrade five buses already operating on compressed natural gas. This will deliver additional greenhouse emissions reductions of 14.5 tonnes beyond the 34 tonnes reductions already delivered by these buses.
South Australian Minister for Transport and Urban Planning, Diana Laidlaw, said the Federal Government partnership recognises the State Government's commitment to a public transport system that is a World leader in its use of environmentally friendly fuel.
"Our success in receiving funding to upgrade some of our existing fleet of CNG buses recognises South Australia's commitment to advances in environmentally friendly public transport," Ms Laidlaw said.
"The 103 new state of the art buses join the 110 CNG powered buses already in service in the metropolitan fleet."
"Thirty of the new buses have already been delivered and we continue to receive, on average, one new bus each week.
"By November 2001, close to 30 per cent of South Australia's metropolitan public transport bus fleet will be fuelled by CNG."
Contact: Matt Brown (Senator Hill's office) 0419 693 515