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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Three hundred of Sydney's buses will now be fuelled by compressed natural gas as a result of $12.4 million in grants announced today by Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill.
The grants form part of the first round of the Alternative Fuels Conversion Program and deliver on a commitment made as part of the Measures for a Better Environment package announced by the Prime Minister in 1999.
A further 248 buses in Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth will also run on compressed natural gas as part of the program.
Speaking from the compressed natural gas bowser at 7-Eleven in Moorebank NSW, Senator Hill congratulated Advanced Engine Components Ltd, Brisbane City Council, the State Transit Authority of NSW, and Transport South Australia.
"The participation of these and other major transport operators in today's event demonstrates the enthusiasm and support from industry for the Government's Alternative Fuels Program," Senator Hill said.
"The $75 million program offers significant financial incentive for Australia's commercial road transport and bus fleets to convert to cleaner alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
Owners of conventionally fuelled commercial vehicles (weighing 3.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) or more) may be eligible for grants of up to 50 per cent of the cost of either converting a vehicle to CNG or LPG, or 50 per cent of the price difference between a new CNG/LPG vehicle and its conventionally fueled equivalent.
"The companies here today are demonstrating leadership in the fight to reduce transport greenhouse emissions through their uptake of alternative fuels and by contributing to a marked increase in industry and public confidence in these fuels," Senator Hill said.
The Alternative Fuels Conversion Program is one of three integrated programs working together to foster a significant shift towards a more sustainable transport system. The others are:
Matt Brown (Senator Hill's Office) 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515
Carol Bartley (Australian Greenhouse Office) 02 6274 1859 or 0412 994 800