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

Senator the Hon. Penny Wong
Minister for Climate Change and Water

$1.29 million funding for green initiatives on Heron Island

Joint media release
18 September 2009

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A high-profile Green Precincts project demonstrating innovative water and energy saving initiatives will receive $1.29 million from the Rudd Government.

Minister for Climate Change and Water, Penny Wong and Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, announced that the Wide Bay Water Corporation would receive funding for their An Island is not an Island project.

"The project, based at Heron Island, acknowledges that infrastructure on an island can emit just as much greenhouse gas as in an urban centre," Senator Wong said.

"It will highlight the benefit of reducing energy and water use in this unique World Heritage listed environment of the Great Barrier Reef.

"Flagship projects like this will become increasingly important as we continue to tackle the effects of climate change."

The project aims to reduce the environmental impact of Heron Island's three tenants - the Voyages Resort, the University of Queensland's research station and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife ranger station.

Minister Garrett said several innovative technologies would be incorporated into the three sites, including new desalination technology, which will reduce the Island's power requirement for water production by 60 per cent.

"A retrofit of existing water facilities with water efficient products will help save up to 5,000 kilolitres of water a year," Minister Garrett said.

Improving the efficiency of existing solar hot water systems and replacing the resort's refrigerators with in-room eskies and ice machines will also cut energy use.

This project is one of 13 projects supported by the Rudd Government's Green Precincts Fund, an initiative to prepare Australia for a future with less water and to encourage local communities to better manage their water and energy use.

For more information on the program and funding recipients announced so far, visit www.environment.gov.au/water/programs/green-precincts/index.html

Commonwealth of Australia