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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage
15 June 2000
Dr Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, will officially open and present the keynote address to the Renewable Energy Generators of Australia's (REGA) Forum 2000 today in Hobart.
The conference has bought together key renewable energy industry leaders from across Australia the US, New Zealand and Europe to discuss the development and opportunities that renewable energy presents to Australian business and the wider community.
"It is fitting that this Renewable Energy Forum is taking place in Hobart - well over 50% of renewable energy currently being generated in Australia originates from the Apple Isle", Sharman Stone said.
Sharman Stone said that the further development of a renewable energy industry was an important part of the Federal Government's Greenhouse strategy.
"Global climate change is a fact of life. We are taking very seriously our responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels by encouraging alternatives, including renewable energy", she said.
"While Australia may contribute only 1.4% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions we have made a strong commitment to limit the growth in emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, which would commit Australia to average greenhouse emissions not more than 108% of 1990 levels by 2008".
Dr Stone said that the establishment of the Australian Greenhouse Office demonstrated how serious the Federal Government took this commitment, with a budget allocation of $180m over 5 years.
"The Government is working with the States and Territories and will shortly introduce legislation to set a mandatory target for electricity retailers to source an additional two per cent of their electricity from renewable energy by 2010."
"Industry has estimated that electricity demand will increase by over 35% between now and 2012. An acceleration in the uptake of renewable energy through measures like the two per cent target will reduce emissions and make our cities and communities cleaner, greener and better places to live".
The two-day conference will commence at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Hobart on June 15.
A field trip to the King Island Wind Farm to study a project sponsored by the Australian Greenhouse Office concludes proceedings on Saturday.
Simon Frost 0419 495 468 or (02) 6277 2016
June 15 2000