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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
8 September 2004
The Minister for the Environment, Senator Ian Campbell, today announced Australian Government funding of $160,000 to install solar heating equipment at the Goldfields Oasis Leisure and Recreation Centre in Kalgoorlie.
The switch from gas to solar energy is expected to cut the centre's power bill by at least $35,000 (25 per cent) a year.
Senator Campbell said funding was to help local governments to reduce their own greenhouse emissions and assist them to work with local businesses and communities to cut emissions.
"Climate change is an issue of major importance to all of us and requires changes to be made by governments at all levels, industry and the community generally," Senator Campbell said during a visit to the city.
"The Howard Government recognizes that meeting the challenge of climate change requires action by all parties and this funding is a reflection of that approach."
The federal member for Kalgoorlie, Barry Haase, said the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder had been very active in exploring a number of energy saving initiatives that aimed not only at reducing costs but what could be done on large scales in regional environments.
"A report last year by Curtin University analysed the centre's energy usage and evaluated costs and benefits of alternatives," he said.
"It also identified Kalgoorlie-Boulder as an ideal location to explore use of solar power on such a scale.
"This funding will be of enormous benefit to the city."
Senator Campbell said that Barry Haase was leading a push to make Kalgoorlie a solar city under the Australian government's $75.3 million Solar Cities Programme.
The plan would integrate solar technologies into domestic, industrial, schools and TAFEs and recreation facilities such as the Aquatic Centre.
Senator Campbell said "I congratulate Mayor Ron Yuryevich, his management team and Barry Haase for showing leadership and initiative on this issue.
"The results of the project will benefit not only the city itself and its citizens but very likely many other regional centre's throughout Australia."