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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

29 June 2000

MOVE TO INCLUDE ETHANOL IN ALTERNATIVE FUEL SCHEME


The Howard Government has moved to include ethanol in schemes to encourage industry to shift to alternative fuels.

A leading Victorian bus company, Ventura Bus Lines, about to import two ethanol-powered buses from Sweden, has been invited to apply for a grant under the Australian Greenhouse office Alternative Fuels Conversion Program.

Announcing the move, the Minister for the Environment, Senator Robert Hill, said he welcomed industry's initiatives to use ethanol.

"Ethanol performs very well in greenhouse terms when compared with diesel and other fuels," Senator Hill said.

"An expansion in its use and production in Australia also offers considerable opportunities to our primary producers, particularly the sugar industry, as it represents another valuable by-product.

"The Government has already offered $1 million in support for the development of an advanced ethanol production plant at Bomaderry NSW, producing fuel from wheat grown in the state's west.

"We're happy to support the ethanol fuel industry and its inclusion in the Alternative Fuels Conversion Program on a trial basis while the main emphasis at present stays with compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas."

The criteria for the Alternative Fuels Conversion Program criteria will be reviewed in July next year.

Senator Hill congratulated Ventura Bus Lines for its foresight in considering ethanol-powered vehicles.

"Our nation's greenhouse abatement programs can only succeed with such initiative and co-operation from industry," Senator Hill said.

June 29, 2000

Contact: Minister's Office Rod Bruem 02 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364 Australian Greenhouse Office website: http://www.greenhouse.gov.au

Commonwealth of Australia