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Joint Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon Nick Minchin
Minister for Industry, Science and Resources
The Hon Mark Vaile, MP
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
22 December 1998
The Howard Government has announced grants worth $10 million to support Australia's push toward the use of renewable or 'green' energy - an investment which will promote projects worth an additional $70 million.
Five major renewable energy projects have received funding under the $10 million Renewable Energy Showcase program.
The Showcase program supports strategically important renewable energy projects which have strong commercial potential, are technically proven, and have potential for widespread application.
Environment Minister Robert Hill says the projects will play a major role in delivering on the greenhouse target agreed to by Australia in Kyoto.
"Australian industry has long been at the forefront of the drive to develop innovative renewable energy technologies. The projects supported by this $10 million investment represent the very best Australia has to offer in renewable energy technology.
"They are projects which will deliver real benefits in both the short term through increased use of energy from renewable sources and in the long term by demonstrating that renewable energy projects can be commercially viable."
Industry, Science and Resources Minister Nick Minchin says the projects demonstrate Australian industry is taking up the Kyoto challenge.
"The Howard Government achieved a fair and realistic outcome for Australia at Kyoto - an outcome which would allow our industry to maintain its international competitiveness while ensuring that Australia played its role in this global challenge.
"The electricity industry will be central to our efforts. Our Government is requiring the industry to source an additional 2 per cent of its output from renewable sources.
"The projects being supported by this $10 million investment will provide the electricity industry with working examples of new, commercially viable options for renewable energy sources."
Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry Minister Mark Vaile says the projects draw on a range of renewable sources.
"Australia is well placed to be a world leader in renewable energy - as evidenced in these projects which will produce energy from sunlight, wind, and biomass including sugar cane residue, wood waste and urban land fill.
"The use of products which have usually been regarded as waste to generate 'green' energy demonstrates the commitment of our agriculture and forestry sector to the sustainable use of our environment."
The announcement of the $10 million investment in the five Showcase renewable energy projects delivers on a major commitment from the Prime Minister's $180 million package of measures to combat global warming.
Matt Brown, Senator Hill's office, 02 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515
Kate Schulze, Senator Minchin's office, 02 6277 7580 or 0419 432 664
Bruce Mills, Mr Vaile's office, 02 6277 7520
Carol Bartley, Australian Greenhouse Office, 02 6274 1859 or 0412 994 800