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Joint Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
&
Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources
The Hon Ian Macfarlane, MP

13 May 2003

Prime Minister's Climate Action Package Extended


Funding for programmes to combat climate change will continue as the Howard Government formulates its longer-term strategy on greenhouse gas abatement.

Environment Minister, Dr David Kemp, and Industry Minister, Mr Ian Macfarlane, announced that programmes such as the Photovoltaic Rebate Program and Cities for Climate Protection will be extended.

Mr Macfarlane said that he was particularly pleased that the Government was able to extend the $5.8 million Photovoltaic Rebate Programme for a further two years, continuing the program's allocation at current levels for rebates for the installation of photovoltaic systems.

"This is an additional commitment by the Government to the program in recognition that it has been very effective at promoting the growing renewables industry and enabling a direct greenhouse response by the community," said Mr Macfarlane.

"I am very pleased that Australia's world leading Cities for Climate Protection programme will also continue," Dr Kemp said. "This important local action programme, which assists councils and communities across Australia to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, has been allocated $2.7 million next year."

The Prime Minister's 1997 Safeguarding the Future package is instrumental in moving Australia to within striking distance of the greenhouse emissions target agreed to at Kyoto.

"The scope and focus of these programmes will be considered over the next year in the context of the development of the Climate Change Forward Strategy. Meanwhile, we will fund extensions to these programmes from within the Measures for a Better Environment package, developed in collaboration with the Australian Democrats and Senator Lees, to ensure we stay on track to meet our target of 108% of 1990 emissions by 2012," said Dr Kemp. "Consultation between business, government at all levels and the wider community is shaping the climate change action agenda to produce a long-term plan on a 20 to 30 year time horizon."

Four elements will underpin the development of Australia's forward climate change strategy:

"We're now focusing on longer-term national greenhouse goals through the development of the Climate Change Forward Strategy. This will require some serious cost-benefit analysis and industry must be prepared to get involved," said Mr Macfarlane

Dr Kemp reiterated that Australia is in the forefront of efforts by nations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases with the Commonwealth investing almost $1 billion on greenhouse response.

"These programmes will deliver about 60 million tonnes annually in emissions reductions by the end of this decade, and build on our innovation support in areas such as renewable energy and alternative fuels.

"The funding allocations for this budget will allow the Government to transition smoothly to the new longer-term strategy," he said.

Media Contacts:
Catherine Job: Minister Kemp 02 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Kirsty Boazman: Minister Macfarlane 02 6277 7580 or 0412 171 444

Commonwealth of Australia