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

14 July 2001

BEIJING OLYMPICS A GREEN OPPORTUNITY FOR AUSTRALIA


Australia's experience in staging the world's first Green Games should prove invaluable as China prepares for the 2008 Olympics, Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill said today.

"Congratulations to the Mayor of Beijing on winning the Olympic bid," Senator Hill said. "Australian industry will be keen to offer its assistance as the city tackles the many environmental challenges of the games - and improves Beijing's environment for future generations.

"Sydney made the environment the third pillar of the Olympics, alongside sport and culture. Long before the Olympic flame arrives in China, our environmental industries can pass the torch of environmental sustainability."

Senator Hill said that many of the companies that had contributed to the Sydney 2000 Games had already won major contracts in China related to environmental protection.

"Beijing is investing US$12.2 billion in environmental protection to prepare for the Games - it has already spent US$3.6 billion," he said.

"Australian companies working in the field, many of which have been represented with me or my department on business delegations to China over the past two years, are ideally placed to tender for environmental projects.

"The scale of the effort is staggering - for example Beijing is going to need 14 new sewage projects to treat 100 per cent of the 2.85 million tonnes of waste water it generates every day by 2008. At the moment, only 40 per cent is treated.

"It is also looking for better ways to cut vehicle emissions, to generate cleaner energy, to manage solid waste and minimise construction waste, to design greener and more energy efficient buildings.

"Our expertise in all these areas was on show in Sydney, with such achievements as the world's largest solar-powered suburb, the recycling of everything from water to cutlery and the remediation of a toxic site.

"Australian companies that are already working on major projects in China include Orbital Engines, which is sharing its green technology with Chinese scooter producers, and Canberra-based Kiah Environmental Designers, which is landscaping the grounds of a high-technology park at Hangzhou.

"Meanwhile Bovis Lend Lease and Telstra are among the companies to have assisted Beijing with its bid, while the ACT Government has also shared its expertise through Canberra's sister city relationship with Beijing."

14 JULY 2001

Contact: Belinda Huppatz 0419 258 364

Commonwealth of Australia