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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

13 November 2002

Tackling the Challenge of Greenhouse

Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp tonight awarded three companies for their innovative greenhouse gas reduction programmes as part of the Australian Engineering Excellence Awards in Canberra. These Awards identify, recognise, reward and promote Australian engineering excellence.

Dr Kemp presented Greenhouse Challenge Awards to Queensland Rail (Gold), Valley Beef (Silver) and Woodside Energy (Bronze) for their excellent efforts in achieving greenhouse reductions.

"Australian companies are at the forefront of efforts to achieve significant greenhouse abatement and these three companies achieved greenhouse savings of almost 200,000 tonnes last financial year," Dr Kemp said.

"I would also like to commend the efforts of John Moulding, Frew Pty Ltd and Castlemaine Perkins for reaching the finals of the Greenhouse Challenge Awards.

"These companies are all members of the Greenhouse Challenge Programme - a joint voluntary initiative between the Australian Government and industry.

"To date over 800 organisations have joined the Greenhouse Challenge and all are committed to implementing a range of cost-effective actions and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Australia is at the forefront of efforts by nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the Commonwealth investing almost $1 billion to fight greenhouse.

"The Government will continue to develop and invest in domestic programs to meet the target agreed to at Kyoto of limiting greenhouse emissions to 108% of 1990 levels over the period 2008 - 2012," Dr Kemp added.

"By the end of this decade, the Government's $1 billion greenhouse abatement programs will deliver about 60 million tonnes annually in emissions reductions - the equivalent of taking all passenger cars off Australia's roads. This forms a strong platform on which to develop Australia's longer-term strategy.

"The Government is committed to working with industry, non government organisations, community groups and local government to achieve further significant greenhouse abatement and in August this year I met with key industry leaders as part of the inaugural Government-Business Climate Change Dialogue. Today I met with the National Environmental Consultative Forum (NECF) to discuss their role in the Government's forward strategy on climate change action.

Since August, five business working groups have been formed and are currently examining areas of energy and resource, energy-intensive manufacturing, transport and infrastructure, agriculture and land management, and cross-sectorial issues.

The Government is seeking business perspectives on how to achieve further abatement, especially those related to technology solutions and foundations for longer term response; cost effective abatement opportunities; economic adjustment and avoidance of long term emissions lock-in and balancing policy flexibility and investment certainty.

"I encourage all companies to strive for innovative solutions to tackling climate change and I commend this year's Greenhouse Challenge Award winners for their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions," Dr Kemp added.

Media Contacts:
Catherine Job Dr Kemp's Office (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Melanie James AGO (02) 6274 1586 or 0419 690 516

Backgrounder - Greenhouse Challenge Awards

Gold - Queensland Rail
Queensland Rail is one of Australia's leading rail operators, carrying over 150 million tonnes of freight and achieving more than 1.1 million passenger trips last financial year. Queensland Rail is committed to sustainable environmental management and continues to demonstrate substantial improvements in reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and assisting Australia's national efforts in this regard.

Queensland Rail reported an annual reduction of 158,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent for the reporting year of 2001/2002 and has adopted many initiatives to achieve its greenhouse gas abatement. These initiatives include:

Silver - Valley Beef
Valley Beef, a member of the Greenhouse Challenge since 2000, is a modern beef processing plant in QLD's Lockyer Valley. The plant employs 300 people and can process 600 cattle per day. The Valley Beef processing plant undertook a 14 million dollar expansion that has resulted in a 50% increase in their production. This expansion has used both new and existing technology in processing and packaging. Despite increasing production by 50%, Valley Beef has reported an annual reduction of 1349 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent for the reporting year of 2001/2002 by improving their technology in the plant upgrade. This smarter technology includes:

Bronze - Woodside Energy
The Cossack Pioneer Flaring Reduction Project forms part of the North West Shelf Venture, operated by Woodside Energy Ltd. Woodside's Cossack Pioneer Flaring Reduction Project was initiated as part of a continuous improvement program and revision of operating procedures to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from flaring. Flaring is the controlled ignition of excess flammable gases which produces CO2, but reduced flaring results in reduced greenhouse gases. The actions taken by Woodside include:

Introducing the new operational procedures and reducing unplanned system outages have resulted in an 85% reduction in the flared gas for the years 1999 through to 2001. This has lead to a total reduction of 181,479 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. An important aspect of the flaring reduction project is that no capital investment was required. This greenhouse reduction effort stands as one of the North West Shelf Venture's best examples of continuous improvement in its Venture operations.

Commonwealth of Australia