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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
9 May 2006
The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today announced new funding of $11.5 million over five years as part of the 2006-07 Budget to deliver on the Australian Government's biofuels agenda and $5.6 million to ensure fuel quality compliance.
"This funding allows us to investigate how to achieve significant air quality benefits from ethanol use, which has implications for both environmental and human health," Senator Campbell said.
Senator Campbell said the package would contain a large research component, with $4.4 million for two major studies into ethanol to address market barriers and restore consumer confidence in the biofuels industry commencing immediately. The studies will:
The Budget also contains $5.6 million over four years to ensure fuel quality compliance. This will enable the Government to actively support fuel quality through its fuel sampling programme which monitors and ensures the quality of fuel supplied to consumers around Australia. The fuel sampling programme has been underway since 2002 and has supported Australia's transition to better quality and more environmentally sustainable fuels.
"Motorists pay heavily for their fuel, and are entitled to high quality fuel, which helps to ensure cleaner emissions, more effective engine operation and reduced pollution," Senator Campbell said.
The 2006-07 Budget also provides $0.4 million to fund biodiesel projects, including a biodiesel trial in Kakadu National Park and investigating the need for a biodiesel blends fuel standard.
Fuel standards are a key part of the Government's national air quality response and have been welcomed by the community, vehicle manufacturers and importers and the refinery industry.
Fuel standards encourage the production and take-up of cleaner fuels and reduce the impacts of vehicle emissions on human health. Without the fuel standards, the community would face an extra $3.4 billion in avoided health costs until the year 2020.
"The Australian Government's investment in biofuel quality will increase Australian consumers' confidence in fuels that can benefit the household budget, Australian industry and our environment," Senator Campbell said.
For more information: www.deh.gov.au/about/publications/budget/2006
Marianne McCabe on 02 6277 7640 or 0400 389 580