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

15 May 2003

$30 Million Birthday Present For Australian Greenhouse Office

A $30 million budget increase for climate change programs was delivered in the Howard Government's 2003-04 Budget as clearly shown on page 44 of the Environment Budget Statement (see also table attached).

The $124 million climate change budget, up from an estimated $93 million expenditure in 2002-03, reaffirms the Government's commitment to combating climate change, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Ian Macfarlane, announced in Canberra today as they cut the cake at the AGO's 5th birthday celebration.

Claims that the AGO's budget has been cut by $24 million are simply false. The $24 million "cut" refers to funding provided under the Annual Appropriation Act, which does decrease to $4.6 million, but it ignores funding of over $119 million provided under the Special Appropriation, Appropriation (Supplementary Measures) Act (No. 2) 1999 which is up by $34 million.

"Key programs such as the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program, the Renewable Energy Commercialisation Program and Cities for Climate Protection have actually increased," Dr Kemp said.

Dr Kemp said flagship Australian Greenhouse Office programs such as the Photovoltaic Rebate Program and Cities for Climate Protection would be extended.

"I am very pleased that Australia's world leading Cities for Climate Protection program will continue," Dr Kemp said. "This important local action program, which helps councils and communities across Australia to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been allocated $2.7 million next year up from $2.5 million."

Dr Kemp also said the Government would extend the Photovoltaic Rebate Program for a further two years with $5.7 million available in 2003-04 for the installation of photovoltaic panels on homes and community buildings.

Mr Macfarlane said the 2003-04 Budget reflects the Government's commitment to greenhouse abatement and the achievement of the 108% Kyoto target, particularly through the Prime Minister's Safeguarding the Future package, which is instrumental in moving Australia to within striking distance of the target agreed to at Kyoto. A list of budget allocations for greenhouse programs is attached.

"The scope and focus of the Safeguarding the Future package of programs will be considered over the next year in the context of the development of the Climate Change Forward Strategy," Mr Macfarlane said.

"The Federal Government is now working in partnership with industry, state and local governments, and the wider community to frame the next generation of greenhouse policies under the Climate Change Forward Strategy to help us meet our target and take us into the decades beyond."

The Australian Greenhouse Office - which is celebrating its fifth birthday today - was established by the Howard Government to drive its $1 billion Greenhouse policy and is the world's first government agency dedicated to cutting greenhouse emissions.

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

Australian Greenhouse Office Budget Appropriations
PROGRAM 2002-03 2003-04
  $m $m
Working With Industry    
Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program 16.088 43.030
Renewable Energy Commercialisation Program 12.937 14.018
Efficiency Standards for Power Generation* 0.608 0.000
Photovoltaic Rebate Program 5.786 5.761
Alternative Fuels Conversion Program 5.950 4.328
Greenhouse Challenge 4.509 4.227
Energy Efficiency Improvement in Commonwealth Operations 1.031 0.691
Energy Performance Codes and Standards for Domestic Appliances an Industrial Equipment 2.684 3.734
Renewable Energy Equity Fund 2.567 3.047
Renewable Energy Internet Site 0.045 0.000
Mandatory Target for the Uptake of Renewable Energy in Power Supplies 0.459 2.825
Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator 1.707 1.506
Bush For Greenhouse** 1.023 0.000
Adjustments to be met from cash holdings. -5.125 -0.306
TOTAL Working With Industry
50.267 82.861
Working With The Community    
Cities for Climate Protection 2.502 2.770
Cool Communities 1.900 1.808
Greenhouse Friendly 0.350 0.600
Renewable Remote Power Generation Program 16.650 16.682
TOTAL Working With The Community
21.402 21.860
Greenhouse Policy    
Domestic Greenhouse Policy Development 6.108 6.074
Greenhouse International Policy and Reporting and Greenhouse Sinks 5.352 5.470
Greenhouse Science 3.849 4.096
National Carbon Accounting System for Land Based Sources and Sinks 5.318 2.672
Market Approaches 0.420 0.934
Impacts and Adaptation 0 0.643
Adjustments to be met from cash holdings. 0.806 -0.204
TOTAL Greenhouse Policy
21.854 19.685
TOTAL ALL 93.523 124.406
* Efficiency Standards for Power Generation will continue in 2003-04, funding from cash holdings
** Bush for Greenhouse will continue in 2003-04, funded from cash holdings.
Commonwealth of Australia