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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Australian Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources
The Hon. Ian Macfarlane MP

5 December 2005

A step closer to Australia's first 'solar cities'

Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Ian Macfarlane, today announced eleven consortia from around Australia have been short-listed in the race to host the nation’s first Solar Cities.

The short-listed proposals are:

  1. Adelaide Solar Citizens
  2. Alice Springs – Australia’s Solar Centre
  3. Blacktown Solar City
  4. Brighter Future – Sydney Olympic Park / Auburn Solar City
  5. Central Victorian Solar Cities Project
  6. Coburg Solar City
  7. Kalgoorlie-Boulder Solar Cities Project
  8. Perth Solar City
  9. Solar Cities Adelaide
  10. Solar Newcastle
  11. Townsville: Queensland Solar City

Each short-listed consortium will now receive $50,000 to help them prepare a detailed business case, which will be assessed by an expert panel before a final decision is made next year about the location of Australia’s Solar Cities.

Senator Campbell said the short-listed consortia were keen to help communities explore alternative energy solutions that will better meet peoples’ energy needs.

“This is an exciting new programme that encourages the use of solar panels, smart meters and energy efficient options along with a new approach to electricity pricing,” he said.

“It will reward ‘energy wise’ consumers, encourage business to test new sustainable energy options, and enable data to be collected on the environmental and economic costs of the initiative to help inform future energy and greenhouse policy.”

Mr Macfarlane said at least four of the 11 short-listed submissions would be selected to host Solar Cities. One of these will be from Adelaide, as announced by the Prime Minister earlier this year.

“The short-listed proposals were selected from a total of 23 submissions throughout Australia, representing most states and the Northern Territory. Australia has really embraced the Solar Cities concept and is on track to produce its first ‘energy-wise’ communities,” he said.

The $75 million Solar Cities programme, announced in last year’s Energy White Paper, is part of the Australian Government’s $1.8 billion climate change strategy which aims to help build an effective global response to climate change, encourage domestic action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and prepare industries and communities for the impacts of climate change.

Media contact:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office) 0418 568 434 - 02 6277 7640
Kirsty Boazman (Ian Macfarlane’s office) 02 6277 7580 or 0412 171 444

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