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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Jenny Macklin MP
Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

$1.2 million for renewable energy in Cape Barren

Joint media release
6 November 2008

An Indigenous community on remote Cape Barren Island will soon be able to use the sun and Bass Strait wind to generate much of its electricity.

Ministers for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, today announced the funding to benefit the 30 residences on the Island which is around 50 kilometres from the north-east tip of the Tasmanian mainland.

The $1.26 million in funding will help install two 20 kilowatt wind turbines and three kilowatts of solar panels to generate electricity on the island.

Ms Macklin said providing reliable, 24-hour power in remote areas was an important step towards closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

"This funding will ensure the community has reliable power which is essential for the health of the entire community," Ms Macklin said.

"As well as delivering a significant environmental benefit, this project will greatly assist the Cape Barren community," Mr Garrett said.

"The solar panels and wind turbines will generate around 76 megawatt hours of electricity each year, saving more than 34,000 litres of diesel not to mention the pollution reductions this will help bring about.

"A new efficient diesel generator will be installed as a back-up for the renewable energy supply, and sophisticated equipment will allow a seamless switch from one energy source to the other when needed."

The project is funded by the Renewable Remote Power Generation Program in the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Commonwealth of Australia