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Joint Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Hon Peter McGauran MP
Australian Government
Minister for Science

2 September 2004

CSIRO in deal to protect ozone layer

New technology to fumigate soil and timber that is also ozone-friendly will be commercialised under a new deal between the CSIRO and global industrial gas company, the BOC Group.

Australian Government Minister for Environment and Heritage, Ian Campbell and Minister for Science, Peter McGauran congratulated the CSIRO for developing this environmental friendly fumigation technology.

The new fumigation gas was discovered by the CSIRO and will replace a widely used gas that depletes the ozone layer and is currently being phased out under the Montreal Protocol, which Australia is a signatory to.

Minister Campbell said, "This deal is a major achievement because it allows Australia to meet its obligations, under the Montreal Protocol and it also enhances the nation's biosecurity.

"Australia has been a leader in the Montreal Protocol by taking some of the most important international actions.

"Government actions have resulted in diminishing levels of ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere and the work of the CSIRO is adding substantially to the global action in this area. This is also important in protecting Australia from invasive species that can damage the environment and the economy," Minister Campbell said.

Minister McGauran said the deal was an example of the CSIRO's success in commercialising their technologies and intellectual property.

"This agreement has the potential to generate more than $525 million for the CSIRO and BOC," Minister McGauran said.

"This new fumigant will have broad applications in Australian and internationally for farmers protecting their crops from insects, pests, weeds and diseases and also for the export and import of timber, which under certain international quarantine regulations must be fumigated to protect it from wood-boring pests and exotic diseases.

"Congratulations must go to the CSIRO for this achievement in combining excellence in science with business success," Minister McGauran said.

Commonwealth of Australia